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Galifernia. 





THE AMAZING SAN DIEGO DAHLIA STORY • SAN CLEMENTE CANYON PARK 















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SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S GARDEN MAGAZINE FOR 52 YEARS 



35 cents 

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 

VOL. 52, NO. 4 



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CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



Has San Diego forgotten that 

floral beauty is a cornerstone of its 
appeal to tourists? Ever since Ca- 
brillo's day, people have been coming 
to Southern California to see for them- 
selves the fabled beauty of its flowers. 
Yet in all of the high-powered, high- 
priced ads recently placed in major 
magazines by the Convention and 
Tourist Bureau there is nary a men- 
tion of the garden side of San Diego. 
At fault is the Bureau's narrow con- 
cept of recreation. Isn't recreation 
more than the Border and Mission 
Bay? The gardener working in his 
back yard, the stroller in a park, the 
sitter-on-the-bench, the rockhound, the 
wildflower hunter, the bird watcher — 
all of these are engaging in their 
choice of recreation. Unfortunately 
for the purposes of publicity, these ac- 
tivities are almost universally unspec- 
tacular and silent, but they attract un- 
told thousands of high caliber people, 
even heavy spenders, if you insist upon 
translating everything into dollars and 
cents. It is impossible to estimate how 
many people have settled in San Diego 
because it was a good place to grow 
their favorite flower, but the number 
is large. 

* * * 

The San Diego Rotary Club's an- 
niversary project (see p. 30) should 
stimulate big thinking among projects 
committee chairmen of other clubs. 
One crying need throughout our park 
system is for plant labels. Just the 
sort of project a garden club (or 
group of clubs) is uniquely qualified 
to handle. 

We had only a few requests for 

the name of the product mentioned in 
Nettie Trott's rose care column in the 
June-July issue, but the one she re- 
ceived made up for any lack on the 
local level. Hers came direct from 
Headquarters — of the American Rose 
Society, Columbus, Ohio. 
■f >;< '!< 

Descanso Nurseries, Chino, Cali- 
fornia, ordered 500 reprints of Alice 
Miller's article "Are You Ready for 
Rhododendrons?" in the same issue. 

* * * 

Victoria Padilla's tribute to Hugh 

Evans, which you read in our Febru- 
ary-March issue, was reprinted this 
summer in Lasca Leaves, quarterly 



publication of the Los Angeles State 
and County Arboretum. 

* * * 

North Park merchants have got- 
ten good mileage out of their empty- 
headed meter posts. First, enough 
publicity over removing the meters to 
fulfill a PR man's dream. Now, 
they've topped the posts with redwood 
planters. The rather unattractive de- 
sign won't matter for long, since grape 
ivy will soon hide the containers. And 
the planters stop people from stuffing 
the posts full of trash. 

* * * 

Club members (garden or other- 
wise) can save money individually, or 
augment their club treasury, by order- 
ing garden supplies in bulk. Many 
nurseries and mail order houses offer 
either cash discounts or a merchandise 
bonus for large orders. Similar sav- 
ings are sometimes available on sta- 
tionery, books, and magazine subscrip- 
tions. Yes, we'll talk terms. Just ask. 

* * * 

The instinct for self-preservation 

helps us to overlook the unsightly and 
troublesome aspects of our surround- 
ings: all of our senses become less 
acute. This partial numbness enables 
us to endure, and even enjoy, city liv- 
ing. Every now and then, though, 
something cuts through to the nerve 
ends and makes us aware of the creep- 
ing horrors that surround us. 

It happens in many ways: someone 
cuts down a tree, and three days later 
we miss something familiar on that 
corner where we turn left on the way 
home from work; a neighbor brightens 
up his place and we become aware of 
the faintly shabby tone of the whole 
block; we drive down Rose Canyon for 
the nth time, and suddenly the line 
of billboards gets through to that area 
behind the eyes — one more has been 
put up, and that's just enough to break 
through our shell of conditioning. We 
see the entrance to our city as a first- 
time tourist would. The verdict? Hor- 
rible. Actually, it is one of the pain- 
ful duties of intelligence to remain 
alert, to see and hear, and recognize 
the need for corrective action. Why 
not start on your own block, your own 
street, your own section of town? Sort 
of a grass-roots movement of discon- 
tent. 

George A. La Pointe 



CALIFORNIA 
GARDEN 



AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 

VOL. 52, NO. 4 

COVER — The dahlia First Lady (shown 
in actual size) is currently the world's 
champion prize winner. Developed and 
introduced in San Diego, it has been a 
leading winner since 1954. Three years 
ago it reached the top in the United 
States, a year later, at the Holland na- 
tional show; and last year, at the Aus- 
tralian show. 



CONTENTS 

Landscaping at College Grove 5 

Visit to Arnold Arboretum 6 

The Dahlia Story _ _. 8 

Big Dahlia Fever __ n 

San Clemente Canyon... .12 

Rare Water Plant _ 15 

Ceropegias _ _ 16 

Living Lath House 18 

Useful Garden Table 21 

Desert Dwellers _ .22 

Compost 29 

Departments . . . 

Fun Mail 4 

Garden Clubs in SD County ...7 

Book Tours ....19 

Calendar of Care 24 

Roland Hoyt Recommends ...25 

Potpourri 30 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 

Published Bi-Monthly by the 

SAN DIEGO FLORAL ASSOCIATION 
Dr. Ralph Roberts, President 

All rights reserved. 
Advertising rates on request. 

Office hours: M-W-F, 10-3. Phone BE 2-5762 
Editor George A. La Pointe 

Assistant editor ..Alice M. Greer 

Advertising Margaret K. La Pointe 

Joan Betts, Dolores L. Linton 
Photography Thos. L. Crist 

Office manager. .Mary M. Wright 

CONTRIBUTING STAFF 

Dorothy S. Behrends Marion Almy Lippitt 

Helen D. Carswell Jane Minshall 

Alice W. Heyneman W. Allen Perry 

Ethel Bailey Higgins Frank Quintana 

Roland S. Hoyt " Ed F. Roach 

Chauncy I. Jerabek David R. Roberts 

Subscriptions to California Garden, $2.00 per 
year; foreign countries and Canada $2.50. Califor- 
nia Garden is on the list of publications author- 
ized by the San Diego Retail Merchants Associa- 
tion. Address Balboa Park, San Diego I, Calif. 

Price of subscription is included in SDFA dues. 
Second class postage paid at San Diego, Calif. 



FUN MAIL 

Whether it's fan or pan, it's fun 
to get mail. 

Rhododendrons 

Sir: 

I want to congratulate you on the fine 
article on Rhododendrons in your June- 
July issue. The article is authentic and well 
prepared; I am surprised at the amount of 
material the Millers were able to obtain 
when there is really so little information 
available. They are to be congratulated. 

My interest in Rhododendrons goes back 
many years to the time my father used to 
receive about a dozen plants each Easter as 
gifts . . . They were "forced" and mostly 
of one variety. Pink Pearl, but they were 
certainly beautiful and appreciated. He 
started the Rhododendron planting at Des- 
canso Gardens with these gift plants. 

Before the Descanso property was sold, 
my father started a collection of Rhododen- 
drons by exchanging Camellias with Mr. 
Jock Brydon of Salem, Oregon. Mr. Brydon 
was to use his judgment as to varieties suit- 
ed for our Southern California area. 

The Rhododendrons were never planted 
at Descanso, but remained balled and bur- 
lapped for over two years until we brought 
them to Chino, where we placed them in 
containers for the first time. Fortunately 
the selection made by Mr. Brydon was ex- 
cellent and it proved to be the nucleus 
of the collection of over 30 varieties that 
we grow today. Our annual production at 
Chino is approximately 20,000 plants. This 
is not a great quantity, but we feel it is 
sufficient to give us a pretty good back- 
ground on growing the plants in our area. 

The most notable discovery we made 
was at the suggestion of Nuccio Bros. They 
gave us six plants of the Hybrid Azaleaden- 
dron Broughtonii Aureum and said we 
should grow it because it was a sure-fire 
budder and had a pretty yellow truss of 
blooms. We now grow nearly 5000 plants 
a year of this variety and believe it will be 
sensational when we offer our first plants 
this next spring. Actually, the plant is 
ancient in the trade and overlooked in the 
Northwest because of its habit of shedding 
most of its foliage in their cold winters. 
Thus, the plant was never accepted into 
commercial channels in that area, and con- 
sequently is not available anywhere else. 
However, with our warm Southern Cali- 
fornia winters Broughtonii holds all of its 
foliage and blooms beautifully at about 
Mother's Day each year. This plant appar- 
ently was meant for Southern California 
and we are doing our best to make it avail- 
able. 

The culture you describe in your article 
is excellent. My only comment concerns 
feeding. One should be very cautious. Use 
a mild organic or a dilute liquid. Always 
have the growing medium wet at time 
fertilizer is applied. 

All of our plants are on their own root, 
but as your article states, most of the 
plants available are grafted. This is un- 
fortunate. A grafted plant, in the opinion 
of most growers today, is less desirable 
than an own root plant, for several reasons. 
The first, as you described, is suckering; 
the second is that the understock is not as 
strong nor is it as disease-resistant or hardy 
as the plant it supports. A cutting-grown 
plant is much more attractive with better 



foliage and a bushier appearance. 

I would also like to comment on stock 
that has been field-grown in our North- 
west soils and then lifted and placed in a 
container for nursery sales or even sold 
balled and burlapped to nurseries for con- 
sumer sales. I do not believe that stock 
produced in this manner will perform in 
Southern California as well as the type of 
stock we grow. I say this because the ball 
of clay that surrounds the crown of the 
plant will become incompatible with the 
peat moss compost that has been packed 
around the clay either in the container or 
in the garden. Clay is fine for Oregon, 
Washington and Northern California where 
the pH is low and water is not saline. But 
in our area, the clay soon picks up and 
retains all of the salts in the water and salts 
that are added in the form of fertilizer. 
This is harmful to the plant. You also have 
a watering problem because the needs of 
clay are not similar to the needs of peat 
moss. Part of the root structure will be 
dry and another part wet. 

We determined that the best system 
would be to grow Rhododendrons in com- 
post from the time they are rooted cuttings 
until they are placed in large containers 
for resale. In this manner we believe we 
are overcoming one of the serious problems 
that has made the culture of Rhododendrons 
appear difficult. 

ROBERT M. BODDY 

Descanso Nurseries 
Chino, California 
Reaction 
Sir: 

The past year of California garden has 
been a tremendous pleasure and a source 
of vast information. The last issue was 
really welcomed when I found the docu- 
mented article on Presidio Park plantings. 
Our Junior Garden Club is studying San 
Diego natives this year, and one of our 
field trips is to be Presidio Park (in 
August) to study the trees and shrubs. 
Yours truly (an Easterner) will have to 
identify them. Thank you and the contrib- 
utors for such a grand job. 

FRANCES S. PLUMB 

San Diego 
Dear George, 

Yes, I like articles on parks and trees 
and outstanding home gardens. No, I do 
not want a monthly, for that would not 
give me time to absorb all the material in 
each issue. Mr. Jerabek's articles alone are 
a challenge! The San Diego Chamber of 
Commerce should hand out copies of Mrs. 
Clark's map [of Presidio Park, June-July.] 

HELEN D. CARSWELL 

Sepulveda, California 



| CALENDAR 

August 5-6 

San Diego County Dahlia So- 
ciety annual Dahlia Show. Con- 
ference Building, Balboa Park. 

September 13 & 27 

Flower Arrangement Work- 
shop; Mrs. Arthur J. Mitchell, 
instructor. Floral Building, 
Balboa Park, 10 a.m. 

September 24 

Flower Arrangement Class; 
Mrs. J. R. Kirkpatrick, instruc- 
tor. Floral Building, 9:30 a.m. 



s 



Dahlias Top 

Flower Show 

Scene 



AN DIEGO'S colorful dahlia show 
the first weekend in August is one 
of more than 50 exhibitions through- 
out the country under the general aus- 
pices of the American Dahlia Society. 
The show here and one at Inglewood 
a week earlier are the nation's first. 
More than 3,000 blooms are expected 
to be on display in the Conference 
Building, Balboa Park, when the show 
opens Saturday, August 5. 

Show hours are 2 to 8 p.m. the first 
day, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 
August 6. An admission of 50 cents is 
charged. Children and military per- 
sonnel in uniform are admitted free. 

The San Diego County Dahlia 
Society is staging the show. In addi- 
tion to the American Dahlia Society, 
the local group is affiliated with the 
Pacific Southwest Dahlia Conference 
of California. 

There are 381 classes in the show, 
including A.D.S. and Conference com- 
petition for seedling awards. Among 
the 32 major awards to be made are 
medals from the eight other Confer- 
ence societies, and from other large 
societies in other parts of the country. 
Highest award at the show will be 
the society's own silver medal, going 
to the best bloom. Society bronze 
medals are given for best biooms in 
the four sections. 

A trophy offered for the second 
year is for the best bloom, any type, 
size, or color, grown and entered by 
an exhibitor 16 years old or younger. 

Probably the most interesting sec- 
tion of the show, according to Society 
President Floyd McCracken, will be 
for novice growers who never have 
won more than five blue ribbons. This 
section each year is second only to the 
advanced amateurs, in which most of 
the society's members show their 
flowers. 

In addition to local growers, the 
show annually attracts exhibitors from 
all over Southern California, and from 
as far away as Santa Cruz and Bakers- 
field. 

All dahlia growers and arrangers are 
invited to take part in the show, Presi- 
dent McCracken said. There is no 
charge for exhibiting. 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



Commentary 

Landscaping at College Grove 



bv Zelda Vernier 



A VISIT to College Grove, for the 
gardener, is more than a shopping 
trip. Plants and flowers, all chosen for 
effective display with a minimum of 
care, are everywhere. Take a tour with 
me, and you may carry home an idea or 
two that will be useful in your own 
garden. 

Along the full length of the Mall, 
olive trees, planted in attractive, raised 
boxes, provide shade for Philodendron 
selloum and dwarf begonias. Would 
you guess that huge trucks, rumbling 
below, are delivering merchandise to 
shops along the Mall? 

At the end of the Mall, beyond the 
line of olives, are small planter boxes 
containing rubber trees, with Japanese 
grape (Cissus rhomb ijolia) and varie- 
gated dwarf coprosma planted around 
them. Here, too, is the Fountain of 
Faith, offering the soothing sound of 
falling water. Note the bronze plaque 
which tells you that all coins from the 
fountain will be given to the San 
Diego Society for Crippled Children. 

Against the building at the south 
side of the Mall, tall Washingtonia 
palms and shorter podocarpus trees, 
with large Philodendron selloum be- 
tween, make an effective "skyline." 
Familiar asparagus fern {Asparagus 
sprengeri), seldom used as a ground 
cover, forms a clean, fresh looking 
carpet. 

Notice the willowy shrubs in boxes. 
They are Rock Willow (Dodonaea 
viscosa), which grow to 10-12 feet. 
According to Hoyt's Ornamental 
Plants for Subtropical Regions, it 
"adapts itself to all adverse circum- 
stances of heat, alkali, wind or 
drought." This Southwestern native 
might be useful in more of our gar- 
dens, or at least along their outer 
edges. 

Against another building, a striking 
planting is composed of groupings of 
Japanese viburnum and two species of 
Bird-of -Paradise, Strelitzia reginae and 
S. nicolai, set between tall palms. 
Masses of purple and white alyssum, 
interspersed with dwarf begonias, 
form a colorful ground cover. 

The sound of falling water draws 
you toward the moving sidewalk 
which carries shoppers from the Mall 



to the Concourse on the lower level. 
The descent takes you through a grotto 
planted with moisture-loving plants. 
On the right, water gushes over a 
rough rock wall and splashes noisily 
into a pool ten feet below. Australian 
and Hawaiian tree ferns flourish here, 
above aralias, golden bamboo, mondo 
grass and ivy. In the left grotto, an 
unusual "bush" ivy (about four feet 
tall), cocculus, a decorative, evergreen 
shrub, and several varieties of aralia 
have been used for height. Between 
large rocks, Agapanthus (Lily-of-the- 
Nile), mondo grass and baby tears 
provide attractive variety, and the gray 
of Agave attenuata makes a conspic- 
uous contrast to the green of the other 
plants. 

In the center of the Concourse, you 
will see a large area, perhaps 25'x40', 
where the two Birds-of-Paradise have 
been used again in conjunction with 
palms, dwarf palms this time, plus 
Philodendron selloum and cordyline, 
a plant new to me. English ivy and 
mondo grass cover the ground. 

THE post office and the entrance to 
the auditorium are in a still-lower 
court. As you walk down the stairs, 
you may think that you have left land- 
scaping behind. But glance at the 
tropicals under the stairway: dieffen- 
bachia, Philodendron monstera delici- 
osa, cycads, evergreen Chinese anthur- 
iums, and Maranta kerchoveana. 

It took 65,000 plants to cover the 
bare hillsides surrounding the shop- 
ping center at College Grove. Home- 
owners with bank problems will find it 
useful to see what plants have been 
used successfully there. In addition, 
there are many, many trees whose 
growth habits you might be interested 
in studying. Among them are mag- 
nolia, camphor, Brazilian pepper, jac- 
aranda, coral, sycamore, eucalyptus, 
acacia, and melaleuca. Should you 
have questions about any of the plant- 
ings, ask for Emil Lehman, the young 
Swiss who has charge of the gardens. 
He knows the name and cultural needs 
of every plant under his care. 

If you have not yet been to College 
Grove, plan to spend a few hours 
there looking around. You will en- 
joy it. 




WWM^~ 



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VICTOR R. LUNDY 

Authorized 

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are Invited to join 

^riorai ^TMociation 

Classification of Memberships: 

Individual $ 3.50 

Family $ 5.50 

Sustaining .$10.00 

Contributing ......$25.00 

• Monthly meetings featuring 
outstanding speakers 

• A 500-volume library 
for your use 

• Membership includes sub- 
scription to CALIFORNIA 
GARDEN bi-monthly 
magazine. 

San Diego Floral Association 
Balboa Park, San Diego I, Calif. 

Please enroll me as a.... 

member. Enclosed is 



Mention CALIFORNIA 
GARDEN When You Shop 



AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



A Gardener's Travels 



Visit to Arnold Arboretum 



by Helen D. Carswell 



AFTER YEARS of studying garden- 
^**ing, horticulture, famous gardens, 
and the people who make them pos- 
sible, a trip across the country to see 
America in spring was almost inevit- 
able. Starting from California and 
journeying as far as Cape Breton Island 
at the east end of the continent during 
May and June, I found the greatest 
pleasure, beauty, and opportunity for 
future study at the Arnold Aboretum 
in Massachusetts. 

Known as "America's Greatest Gar- 
den," Arnold Arboretum at Jamaica 
Plain is about five miles from down- 
town Boston. Easily reached by car 
from U.S. 1, or by subway from the 
city, it is open to the public, without 
charge, every day of the year. 

The gift of James Arnold, a mer- 
chant of New Bedford, Massachusetts, 
this "Museum of Living Plants" is ad- 
ministered by Harvard University in 
cooperation with Boston Department 
of Parks and Recreation. Its purpose 
is to grow every tree, shrub and woody 
plant able to withstand the climate of 
New England in the open ground. 
Since its establishment in 1872 the 
arboretum has introduced into cultiva- 
tion in America over 4000 species and 
varieties of plants. The late Professor 
Charles S. Sargent, Director of the 
Arboretum, 1879-1927, outlined the 
functions of the institution as, first, the 
herbarium, second, the library, and 
third, the collections of living trees and 
shrubs. 

Early May was an ideal time to see 
the metamorphosis after a long, stormy 
winter. Hillsides were turning green, 
fruit buds swelling and taking on 
color, bulbs were blooming in drifts 
under birch trees. This was one spring 
in a generation for the occasional tour- 
ist, since the season was about two 
weeks late and an unprecedented va- 
riety of things flowered at one time, in 
place of the usual succession of bloom. 

On my first visit, the deciduous mag- 
nolias were a special treat. Because of 
plant quarantines, this type of mag- 
nolia was not generally available in 
California until the thirties; conse- 
quently, those seen in California are 
not very large. (The famous Magnolia 



campbelli of Golden Gate Park, San 
Francisco, bloomed for the first time 
in 1940.) The magnolia planting, lo- 
cated around the Administration Build- 
ing, gives the venerable gray stone 
building a gay and frivolous look for 
a few weeks in spring. Late April is 
usually the ideal time to see the great- 
est number of varieties at peak bloom. 
Except for the magnolias, bulbs and 
some early azaleas, spring bloom was 
still a promise at the time of my first 
visit. Two weeks later when I returned, 
the entire garden looked like the color 
post cards on sale at the Administra- 
tion Building. All rolled into one pro- 
fusion of blossoms were cherry, peach, 
crabapple, dogwood, hawthorn, and 
lilacs. Best of all was the display of 
new leaves, a newness and perfection 
without blemish. Many of the crim- 
son-leaved trees, such as red maples 
and beeches, made a show all by them- 
selves. 

ARNOLD Arboretum was planned 
/a. and developed long before the 
days of color photography, but it has 
all the features that would make Mr. 
Eastman very happy: hills and valleys, 
meadows and woodlands, a small 
stream, reflecting ponds, paths with 
graceful curves enticing one on to the 
beauty just beyond the bend. My first 
picture was of Malus sargenti rosea. 
the pink crabapple. Looking at it later, 
I saw in it the essence of a New Eng- 
land spring; the whole trip was worth 
just this one shot! But what went 
wrong with the light meter? A re- 
sounding clap of thunder brought me 
down to earth; it was, of all things, 
RAINING! 

Earlier in the day a trip to Cam- 
bridge to see the Ware Collection of 
Glass Flowers and the Longfellow 
Home had left a thought, or frame of 
mind, that proved consoling: 

Into each life some rain must jail, 
Some days must be dark and dreary. 

Without the rain, I would not have 
taken time to visit the library, for books 
will always be there. Why "burn up 
daylight" when there are New England 
blossoms to be seen ? But to scurry for 



shelter was a necessity, and the library 
was the place to find it. 

The Arboretum's collection of more 
than 50,000 horticultural books is not 
a lending library, but is available for 
study and research. Since roses, my 
first love, come under "woody plants," 
I looked for them first. The 1961 
American Rose Annual, issued since I 
left home, was displayed on a table, 
along with another recent publication, 
Miniature Roses by Roy Genders, 
Blandford Press, London. But why 
look at new books when I might never 
again have an opportunity to peruse 
ones so rare ! 

It has often been by dream that Saint 
Peter might say, "Come right in, Helen. 
We have a fine set of Redoute for 
you." Here right on earth was a set in 
front of me, mine to browse through, 
the only limitation being the time I 
could allow myself. The paintings by 
P. J. Redoute are included in Les Roses 
by the botanist Thory. They were com- 
missioned by the Empress Josephine, 
wife of Napoleon, and show the roses 
in her garden, Malmaison, where roses 
were brought from every part of the 
globe in the early 19th century. To 
say the least, it is a rare and expensive 
book! 

To name a few others that interested 
me, there were the two large volumes 
of The Genus Rosa by Ellen Willmott, 
The Rose Garden by William Paul, and 
an 1847 edition of The Rose by S. B. 
Parsons, probably one of the first im- 
portant books on the rose written in 
America. These volumes were all 
marked with the name of the donor; 
for example the William Paul had a 
flyleaf signature "Francis Parkman, 
May 1959." The book plate read 
"Once Professor of Horticulture, Har- 
vard, Received by the University 1/ 
17/94, bequest." 

The following day brought ideal 
weather. The only problem was to de- 
cide how to allot time; to take pictures, 
study plants, to stroll and perhaps talk 
with some of the other visitors. My 
camera had its day, and I am happy 
now to have these pictures to enjoy 
throughout the years. 

As I entered, by the Forest Hills gate 
this time, the crabapple collection was 
to my left, to the right azaleas reflected 
in a pond, on a hill ahead the lilacs, 
and beyond a curve, natural woods 
ablaze with redbud, dogwood, maples, 
and all sorts of interesting shade 
plants. 

The lilacs won ! Strolling along, I 
sniffed, photographed, dreamed and 
played a game: If I could carry off 
just one bush, which would it be? Af- 
ter selecting "My" bush, photograph- 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



ing, smelling and admiring it, the only 
thing left was to identify it. Every 
bush has two good clear labels, show- 
ing both the common and the scientific 
name, the name of the originator, and 
the date planted. My selection was 
"Pocahontas," originated by Dr. F. L. 
Skinner of Dropmore, Manitoba, and 
planted 7/25/35. It must be a good 
grower to have reached such a size in 
just a quarter century, for lilacs are 
usually slow-growing, and take years to 
come into bloom. Whether or not it 
was a good selection I do not know. 
One look in spring could not tell the 
many other qualities needed for a good 
lilac. 

LATER in the afternoon I was for- 
tunate enough to have a tour of the 
gardens with Dr. Donald Wyman, hor- 
ticulturist there since 1936, and at 
present the President of the American 
Horticultural Society. This tour gave 
me an over-all picture of the entire 
planting, including the 100-year-old 
hedges of unnamed lilacs in full bloom, 
the conifer collections, a lath house of 
bonsai, rhododendrons that would soon 
be in bloom, and a view from the gar- 
den's highest point. Here we could see 
the Blue Mountains to the south and 
Boston to the north, the Customs 
Building, the John Hancock Life In- 
surance building with its weather sig- 
nal tower, and the golden dome of the 
State House. 

Visiting Arnold Arboretum a few 
times in spring is like glancing at only 
a few pages of a large, interesting vol- 
ume, for its charms are spread through- 
out the four seasons. Trees, shrubs 
and vines in endless variety continue to 
flower and give color during the entire 
summer. Later, to the glory of a New 
England autumn, additional shadings 
are added by the exotic plants from 
Europe and Asia. Even winter has a 
beauty of its own, when the form and 
tracery of deciduous plants are en- 
hanced by a background of snow, and 
the barks and winter buds take on im- 
portance in the landscape. That is why 
Arnold Arboretum gives a feeling that 
one must return often and at different 
seasons. 

It is well to remember every time 
we plant a regal lily, a flowering shrub, 
or a broad-leaved evergreen, that it 
probably was brought originally from 
the wilds of another continent, grown 
and tested for adaptation in America, 
and introduced to our gardens by the 
Arnold Arboretum. In my six-week 
journey across the country, it seemed 
to me this was the most beautiful spot 
I had seen in all America. 



>ieao 



raen L^lub L^enu 

FLORAL BUILDING 
BALBOA PARK 

Under the sponsorship of 

he Park and Recreation Dept. 

City of San Diego 




SAN DIEGO FLORAL ASSOCIATION 

Third Tuesday, Floral Building, 8:00 p.m. 
President: Dr. Ralph Roberts 
2002 Wilbur. S.D. 9 BR 3-9085 

FLOWER ARRANGERS' GUILD 
First Thursday, Floral Building, 7:30 p.m. 
Chairman: Mrs. Theresa Bustamente 

AFFILIATE MEMBERS. 1961 

ALFRED D. ROBINSON BEGONIA SOCIETY 
Third Friday, Gardens of Members, 10:30 a.m. 
President: Mrs. Arthur Tenney Emerson 
416 Ninth Ave., Coronado HE 5-5790 

Rep. Dir.: Mrs. Anuta Lynch 
202 Lewis, S.D. 3 CY 8-1400 

CONVAIR GARDEN CLUB— 
Second Wednesday, Floral Building, 7:30 p.m. 
President: Henry Boyd 

6581 Broadway, S.D. 14 CO 4-1283 

Rep. Dir.: Eugene Zimmerman 
1942 Abbe, S. D. II. BR 7-3383 

MISSION GARDEN CLUB OF SAN DIEGO— 

First Monday, Floral Bldg., 7:30 p.m. 
President: Mrs. E. R. Bohe 

3145 N. Mountain View Dr., S.D. 16, AT 2-7422 
Rep. Dir: Mrs. June Drown 
1665 Darnell Rd., S.D. 5 CO 4-5214 

ORGANIC GARDENING CLUB— 
Third Friday, Floral Building, 7:30 p.m. 
President: Robert H. Calvin 
Box 296, Solana Beach SK 5-1430 

Rep. Dir.: Mrs. Hermina Hilkowitz 
1756 Mission Cliffs Drive, S.D. 16. CY 6-2282 

SAN DIEGO CAMELLIA SOCIETY- 
Second Friday, Floral Bldg., 7:30 p.m. 
President: Clive Pillsbury 

3452 Cromwell PI., S.D. AT 4-1233 

Rep. Dir.: Mrs. Lester Crowder 
3130 2nd, San Diego 3 CY 5-5871 

S. D. CHAPTER CALIF. ASS'N. NURSERYMEN 
Fourth Thursday, 7:30 p.m. 
President: Peter Millenaar 

910 Turquoise, S.D. 9 HU 8-3012 

Rep. Dir.: Frank Antonicelli 
1525 Ft. Stockton Dr., S. D. 3 CY 5-2808 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY DAHLIA SOCIETY 
Fourth Tuesday, Floral Building, 7:30 p.m. 
President: Floyd McCracken 
4246 40th, S.D. 5 AT 4-5131 

Rep. Dir.: Dr. J. W. Troxell 
4950 Canterbury Dr., S. D. 16. AT 2-9131 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY ORCHID SOCIETY— 
First Tuesday, Floral Building, 8:00 p.m. 

President: R. B. Dugger 

762 N. Granados, Solana Beach SK 5-4343 

Rep. Dir.: Miss Elizabeth A. Newkirk 

1654 La Mancha Dr., S.D. 9 BR 4-2042 

SAN DIEGO FUCHSIA SOCIETY— 
Second Monday, Floral Building, 8:00 p.m. 

President: Mrs. Ernest C. Adams 

4180 Hamilton, S.D. 4 CY 6-2791 

Rep. Dir.:Mrs. Mary Bray Watson 

2337 Commonwealth Ave., S.D. 4. AT 4-2669 
SAN DIEGO ROSE SOCIETY— 
Third Monday, Floral Building, 8:00 p.m. 

President: Mrs. Joseph J. Kenneally 

2260 Catalina, S.D. 7 AC 3-6183 

Rep. Dir.: Mrs. Joseph J. Kenneally 
VISTA MESA GARDEN CLUB 
Second Tuesday, Floral Building, 8:00 p.m. 

President: Mrs. John Hoaglin 

3746 Ben, S.D. II BR 7-1368 

Rep. Dir.: Mrs. D. R. Gardiner 

8003 Linda Vista Rd., S.D. II BR 7-3635 



OTHER GARDEN CLUBS 

AMERICAN BEGONIA SOCIETY 
San Diego Branch 

Fourth Mon., Barbour Hall 8:00 p.m. 

University & Pershing, 
President: Mrs. Marie H. Metheny BR 4-1746 
San Miguel Branch 

First Wed., Youth Center, Lemon Grove, 
8:00 p.m. 
President: Mrs. Jack Brook HO 6-0162 

CABRILLO— MISSION GARDEN CLUB 
Third Thurs., Members' Gardens, 9:30 a.m. 

President: Mrs. Raymond K. Stone BR 7-7134 
CARLSBAD GARDEN CLUB 
First Fri., City Annex, 1:00 p.m. 
President: Mrs. John L. Wick PA 9-1913 

CHULA VISTA FUCHSIA CLUB 

Second Tues., C. V. Women's Club, 7:30 p.m. 
President: Mrs. J. L. Riese GA 2-0587 

CHU.A VISTA GARDEN CLUB 
Third Wed., C.V. First Christian Club, 1:30 p.m. 
President: Mrs. Elmer Berggren HA 0-3504 

CLAIREMONT GARDEN CLUB 

Third Tues., Clairemont Community Center, 
10:00 a.m. 

President: Mrs. Wm. Cordes BR 6-4182 

CORONADO FLORAL ASSOCIATION 
No regular meeting date, Christ Church Parish 
Hall 

President: Adm. G. D. Zurmeuhlein HE 5-6361 
CROWN GARDEN CLUB of CORONADO 
Fourth Thurs., Red Cross Bldg., 1113 Adella 

Lane 
President: Mrs. J. Dunham Reilly HE 5-4685 

DELCADIA GARDEN CLUB 

President: Mrs. Knute Eastman PL 2-3029 

DOS VALLES GARDEN CLUB (Pauma Valley) 
Second Tues., Homes of members, 1:30 p.m. 
President: Mrs. Henry Gale PI 2-3286 

ESCONDIDO GARDEN CLUB 
Third Fri., Women's Club House, 1:30 p.m. 
President: Mrs. Albert Seibert SH 5-6933 

Flower Arrangers Work shop— first Friday 
9:30 a.m. " 

Horticulture Workshop— fourth Friday, 9:30 
a.m. 

EVA KENWORTHY GRAY BEGONIA SOCIETY 
Third Mon., Community House, La Jolla, 7:30 
p.m. 

President: Col. Edwin P. Lock, Jr. GL 4-4752 
FALLBROOK GARDEN CLUB 
Last Thurs., Reche Clubhouse, 1:30 p.m. 
President: Mrs. Walter Hughes RA 8-7233 

IMPERIAL BEACH GARDEN CLUB 
Third Tues., South Bay Community Center, 
1:00 p.m. 

President: Mrs. Al Hague GA 4-9425 

LAKESIDE GARDEN CLUB 
Third Mon., Lakeside Farm School, 7:30 p.m. 
President: Mrs. Cecil Carender ' HI 3-1575 

LA MESA SPRINGHOUSE GARDEN CLUB 
Third Thurs., Porter Hall, La Mesa, 7:30 p.m. 
President: Cdr. Alfred A. Paulsen HO 6-8366 
LA MESA WOMEN'S CLUB (Garden Section) 
Third Thurs., La Mesa Women's Club, 1:45 p.m. 
President: Mrs. Eva K. Shearer HO 6-5810 

LEMON GROVE WOMEN'S CLUB 
(Garden Section) 

First Tues., Lemon Grove Women's Club House 
1:00 p.m. 

Chairman: Mrs. Frank Barber HO 6-8641 

MISSION BEACH WOMEN'S CLUB 
(Garden Section) 

First Fri., Mission Beach Women's Club House, 
9:00 a.m. 

Chairman: Mrs. Gertrude Kennedy BR 3-8374 
NATIONAL CITY GARDEN CLUB 
Third Wed. National City Community Bldg., 
7:30 p.m. 

President: Kenneth Boulette GR 7-9240 

O. C. IT GROW GARDEN CLUB 
Second Wed., South Oceanside School Auditor- 
ium. 7:30 p.m. 

President: Walter Watchorn SA 2-3501 

PACIFIC BEACH GARDEN CLUB 
Second Mon., Home Federal Friendship Hall, 
7:30 p.m. 

President: Mrs. Ernest Ambort BR 6-1595 

RANCHO SANTA FE GARDEN CLUB 
Second Wed. 
President: Mrs. Hardy H. Kent PL 6-1428 

SAN DIEGO CACTUS & SUCCULENT CLUB 
First Sat., Youth Center, Lemon Grove 
President: C. Hardin HO 9-3038 

SANTA MARIA VALLEY GARDEN CLUB 
Second Mon., Ramona Park, 10:00 a.m. 
President: Mrs. Frank McKenzie 
VISTA GARDEN CLUB 

First Fri., Vista Recreation Center, 1:30 p.m. 
President: Mrs. Jack Morgan PA 4-7510 



Garden Clubs: Help us to help you! 
Put CALIFORNIA GARDEN on your mailing list. 



AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



California 
Garden 



AUGUST - SEPTEMBER, 1961 



The Amazing 

San Diego County Dahlia Story 



SUMMERTIME is dahlia time in 
San Diego and California. 
Home gardeners grow them for 
massed color, and for cut flowers. The 
specialists grow them for exhibition, 
as well as for color and for cutting. 

Dahlia enthusiasts are just as de- 
voted to their specialty — if not more 
so — as rose growers, cactus fans, or 
any of the many other hobby groups. 

Dahlias are especially adapted to 
Southern California. They are a part 
of the Mexican influence on our cul- 
ture. Even before they were discovered 
by the white man in 1570, dahlias 
were growing wild on the uplands of 
Mexico, and were highly prized by 
Mexico's Indians. 

The dahlia was adaptable as a fes- 
tival flower; it was in bloom at fiesta 
time, and a natural source of color for 
a color-loving people. Early horticul- 
tural writers said there were strong in- 
dications that when the Indians mi- 
grated, they carried along dahlia roots 
for planting out; the roots were a 
source of medicine as well as color. 

Legend has it that some of those 
early dahlias were brought to San 
Diego County's San Luis Rey Mission 
by the padres of Junipero Serra's time, 
and continued to grow in their wild 
state around the mission as recently as 
a few years ago. 

The dahlia known today throughout 
the world is a much more colorful 
flower, and more spectacular. At first 



by Larry Sisk 

it was mostly a single type, with not 
much size or variety of blossom. Now 
it is grown in a dozen distinct types 
and in all colors and combinations ex- 
cept blue. At the annual dahlia show 
August 5 and 6 in Balboa Park's Con- 
ference Building, all types and colors 
will be on display. The flowers will 
cover the entire size range, too, from 
one-half inch to upwards of 14 to 16 
inches. 

Development of the dahlia, which 
began when it was taken to Europe by 
the New World explorers, has con- 
tinued, and is continuing each year. 
Only a few years ago, the large blooms 
were referred to as "dinner plate" 
flowers — pretty accurate because there 
wasn't much depth to the real big 
ones. But now the term is as obsolete 
as the big flat flowers themselves. 
Large exhibition blooms today are 
measured for depth as well as di- 
ameter. As an example, the largest 
flower in the show is likely to have 
a depth of 11 to 12 inches if it is 
14 to 15 inches across. 

This compares with the measure- 
ments of an old "dinner plate" cham- 
pion, Clara Carder, which seldom 
racked up a better score than 12 by 
4 inches. 

Another description that is out of 
date is "shaggy." The flowers now 
are classified distinctly, with none ap- 
propriately called shaggy. There are 
two majestic types, the formal decora - 



tives and the cactus types; in between, 
informal decoratives and semi-cactus. 
Each type can be recognized easily by 
following the same set of standards 
used by dahlia specialists all over the 
world. 

Flowers are classified by form, 
whether they are miniatures, under 4 
inches; BB's, from 4 to 6 inches 
(favored by florists); mediums, from 
6 to 8 inches; or large, from 8 inches 
up. The types are the same, whether 
large or small. 

Completing the family of types are 
a wide variety of novelties, and the 
pompons, from small to large. Among 
the former are singles, collarettes, 
peony, orchid, minions, and anemone 
varieties. 

Pompons are 2 inches or under; if 
they are larger they are called minia- 
ture balls up to 4 inches, and just balls 
if more than 4 inches. A couple of 
decades ago or earlier, the balls were 
known only as "show" dahlias; they 
were exhibited with no foliage or 
stems, just floating in shallow pans. 

BECAUSE dahlias are happy in San 
Diego's climate and long growing 
season, San Diego is home to many 
world-famous blooms grown by dahlia 
lovers everywhere. Some of the most 
famous dahlia hybridizers and de- 
velopers have followed their hobby 
and vocation here, growing seed for 
world export, and producing new 



8 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



varieties that have swept the top 
awards wherever competitive exhibi- 
tions are held. 

One of the world's foremost hy- 
bridizers, the late Charles Pape, lived 
for a time in Chula Vista before going 
to Santa Barbara and achieving fame 
for dahlias that still continue as top 
winners, year after year. 

His most famous variety, introduced 
in 1946, probably has won more 
honors than any other dahlia ever 
grown. It is called Mrs. Hester Pape, 
named for his wife. Mrs. Pape re- 
sides in La Jolla and keeps in touch 
with friends of her husband by at- 
tending shows in the Midwest and 
East. She recently was presented with 
the key to the city of Birmingham, 
Alabama, at the Southern States Silver 
Anniversary Dahlia Show. 

The bloom Mrs. Hester Pape is a 
large reddish purple, informal decora- 
tive, which will grow to 12 inches or 
so. Many show reports each year list 
it as best bloom, or best in class. 

Another dahlia named for a San 
Diego woman, and developed here, 
the Hazel Harper, also is world fam- 
ous. It is a pink miniature cactus, 
listed in dahlia classification catalogs 
as the ideal of its type. 

It was grown from seed by Mrs. 
George (Hazel) Harper of Mission 
Hills, and after winning the cherished 
Derrill Hart medal as the best of the 
year from the American Dahlia Soci- 
ety, it was sent to world fame by an 
Eastern introducer. 

Cy Ramage of Chula Vista develop- 




Comstock's 'Lula Pattie' 

Named for a woman, but a man's dahlia. Most of the big ones are. 




Partain's 'Princess Dianne' 



Comstock's 'Art Linkletter' 



AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



9 









Photograph by Walter Bray 



Hazel Harper's 'Hazel Harper' 



ed the still-popular and famous Five 
Star General in 1946, and Mr. Presi- 
dent in 1955. The former, introduced 
by an Eastern distributor, is a large, 
pink formal decorative. The latter is 
a large, incurved cactus of salmon rose 
blending into empire yellow at the 
center. 

Roy Partain of Point Loma also is 
among the San Diego dahlia greats. 
He developed the large, informal 
decorative red bloom named Princess 
Dianne, put on the market in 1951. 

R. Paul Comstock of Solana Beach, 
known throughout the West as Mr. 
Dahlia, introduced Ramage's Mr. 
President and Partain's Princess 
Dianne. 

Comstock currently could claim the 
world's Mr. Dahlia title, too, because 
many of his own flowers are heading 
the Courts of Honor winners at dahlia 
exhibitions wherever the blooms are 
grown and shown. 

He and his Comstock Dahlia Gar- 
dens have been well known in South- 
ern California floriculture circles for 
more than a quarter of a century. 
Comstock is an installation superin- 
tendent for the telephone company, 
operating his dahlia farm at the south- 
ern edge of Solana Beach as a sideline. 

As a youngster, Comstock was a 
professional wrestler, but when he in- 
jured a leg he gave up wrestling, and 
started growing dahlias while the leg 
healed. 

Soon after he began growing flowers 
in a canyon garden in Normal 



Heights, Comstock started developing 
varieties of his own from seed. His 
first successful introduction was a 
large autumn, Aztec Chief, still listed 
in some catalogs. 

At first there wasn't much interest 
in dahlias in San Diego, because there 
wasn't any opportunity to display 
them, Comstock recalls. He and his 
friend Ramage decided to do some- 
thing about it during the 1935 Ex- 
position, by staging a display of mass- 
ed dahlias, as a part of an exhibition 
sponsored by the San Diego Floral 
Association. 

A year later Comstock, Ramage, and 
several other hobbyists staged San 
Diego's first exclusive dahlia show in 
Balboa Park's Spanish Village. Each 
year since there has been a San Diego 
dahlia show. During World War II 
the shows constituted only displays in 
yards of dahlia fans. 

The San Diego County Dahlia Soci- 
ety was organized by Comstock, Ram- 
age, Miss Hazel Plimley, the late Her- 
man Lodge, and several other pioneer- 
ing devotees. This year the society, 
under the presidency of Floyd Mc- 
Cracken, is staging its 21st annual 
show — not counting the back yard 
shows of the war years. 

In recalling early-day dahlia grow- 
ers here, Comstock said the first flow- 
ers he remembers seeing were in about 
1930, when he was attracted to a large 
container of them shown in a grocery 
by Lodge. 

Other early growers included Har- 



vey Atherton and Mouney C. Pfeffer- 
korn. A number of years ago Pfeffer- 
korn published a pamphlet on dahlia 
culture which today is a collector's 
item. 

Comstock has honored both Ather- 
ton and Pfefferkorn by naming fam- 
ous flowers for them. The Harvey 
Atherton, introduced in 1956, is a 
large, purple, formal decorative. The 
Mouney C, 1958, is a white, BB-size 
formal that is almost a perfect ball, 
currently winning the blues wherever 
shown. 

COMSTOCK' S most famous intro- 
duction was First Lady (see 
cover), which began its climb to 
world-wide fame when it swept the 
San Diego show and other California 
shows in 1954. In the last three years 
it has ranked with or surpassed Mrs. 
Hester Pape as a top winner. 

Other Comstock introductions are 
the white medium cactus, Florence 
Chadwick; the medium yellow formal, 
Maureen Connolly, and the large yel- 
low semi-cactus, Art Linkletter — all 
world-famous, named for world-fam- 
ous San Diegans. 

Among other famous Comstock in- 
troductions listed in all dahlia catalogs 
are the Groucho Marx, Miss Liberty, 
Miss San Diego, Stardust, and many 
more. 

The current sensation is a large 
white semi-cactus, introduced last year 
and named Lula Pattie for Comstock's 
mother. After winning several best- 
in-show and largest-bloom awards last 
year, it was in great demand for plant- 
ing this year. He claims it is a far 
better flower than another big white 
he introduced in 1935 and named 
Pattie Lou. 

Lula Pattie is a man's dahlia. Most 
of the big ones are. Women growers 
prefer the mediums or the smaller 
varieties, probably because they are 
more adaptable for cutting and ar- 
ranging. 

As a matter of fact, most dahlia 
hobbyists are men; they say it's because 
the dahlia is a man's flower. Of 
course, women like them; and women 
like to have their men grow them be- 
cause they keep the men at home and 
in the garden. 

There is something about growing 
dahlias that gives the man gardener a 
chance for achievement — the urge to 
grow the biggest, or the smallest, or 
just the best. 

See for yourself. Go to the dahlia 
show and look over the Court of 
Honor. 

Chances are that the men gardeners 
will be well represented. 



10 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



Big 

Dahlia 
Fever 

by Charles F. Pap: 



Editor's Note: Charles F. Pape (1371- 
1953), world-famous as a dahlia hybrid- 
izer, was a knowledgeable and eloquent 
spokesman for his favorite flower. The 
excerpts below are from manuscripts sup- 
plied by his widow, Mrs. Hester Pape, and 
his niece, Mrs. Emmett Fowler, Jr. (the 
original of another famous Pape dahlia, 
Virginia B. Taggart), both of La Jolla. 
Portions of this material appeared orig- 
inally in The Dahlia, Official Bulletin of 
the Central States Dahlia Society. 



Not so many years ago I recall how 

proud we were of our "enormous" 

eight inch dahlias; we now speak of 

our 15 and 16 inch flowers, often eight 

inches deep, with equal pride. The 

dahlias of the future will improve, just 

as those of the past have done. Study 

and individual research on the part of 

each enthusiast are the keys which will 

make possible larger and finer flowers 

with stronger, straighter stems, and 

healthier foliage . . . The time will come 

when a grower can produce the color 

he wishes, even blue, when he wishes. 
* * * 

Anyone can grow choice dahlias 

from seed. Stupendous giants, spright- 
ly cacti, prim pompons, and dainty 
miniatures, all are exciting to grow 
from seed in your own garden. 

By choosing a fine seed parent 
which has proven itself, then crossing 
it with a sire of known ability, the 
likelihood of producing a top winner 
is much increased. 

These crosses are not produced in 
a haphazard way. They are not pro- 
duced by pressing the thumb and fore- 
finger over the pollen of one flower 
and mashing it into the pollen of an- 
other. Pollen is delicate and sensitive; 
it does not cherish rough treatment. 

The varieties selected for seed are 
carefully watched to make sure they 
are in good condition. All irrigation is 
withheld, and the plant has an oppor- 
tunity to dry, causing the flowers to 
bloom fully with open centers. These 
open centers contain the all-important 
pollen. Using a very fine camel's hair 
brush I carry the pollen from one 
flower to the one with which I wish to 
cross it. After depositing the pollen, 
I cover the latter bloom with a fine 




Pape's 'Hester Pape' 



nesting to prevent contamination by 
unwanted pollen carried by bugs and 
bees. 

Another very good method ... is to 
plant the two varieties close enough 
together that they may be fastened to 
the same stake. When seed time ar- 
rives, blossoms of the two plants are 
tied together so that one faces the 
other at a distance of about six inches; 
the bees and the butterflies do the rest. 



* * 



Although I have some 3,000 plants 

growing, most of which are "Honor 
Roll" dahlias, my greatest interest lies 
in the part of the garden I call the 
"jungle," my seedling patch. Every 
day I scrutinize each opening bud to 
see if it is going to be one of the "Big 
Boys," or the elusive blue one, long 
dreamed of by dahlia fans. 



Seedlings are chiefly used for the 

development of new varieties, but are 
also very effective when used for a 
mass of brilliant color in the garden. 
Many landscape artists, both profes- 
sional and amateur, are "gardening 
with color." A bed of dahlia seed- 
lings is ideal for this purpose . . . The 
best specimens can be saved from the 
group for separate planting the next 

year. 

* * * 

I am often the first to see a prize 

beauty that an enthusiast has found 
among his seedlings ... I know he is 
afflicted with a malady known as "big 
dahlia fever," and furthermore, that he 
does not want to get well; neither do 
I. I have had the "fever" for sixty- 
years and I shall always thrill to the 
sight of a giant dahlia on a strong, 
straight stem. 



AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



11 






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• San Clemente Canyon has been 
a citizens' project from the time 
it was "discovered" by the chil- 
dren of Clairemont residents, Mr. 
and Mrs. Richard B. Wilson. 
When Wilson proposed the park 
idea to the Clairemont Town 
Council, he started a series of 
events that culminated in the 
successful I960 ballot proposal 
for city acquisition of the land. 

Jean Morley's interest began 
early this year when she learned 
about the richness of the can- 
yon's bird life. Through her 
work with Citizens Coordinate, 
she is largely responsible for the 
city's recognition of the need for 
tree trimming and cleanup in the 
canyon. 

Citizens Coordinate stands for 
— and works for — enlightened 
city planning; architectural ex- 
cellence; preservation of open 
spaces, vistas and vegetation; 
tree planting and landscaping; 
and control of visual nuisance. 
Basically, it aims at a handsome 
San Diego — an ambitious goal, 
but perhaps not an impossible 
one for informed and willing 
citizens. 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



Opportunity for a Natural Park 



by Jean Morley 



SAN Diegans will be amazed at 
San Clemente Canyon. Not only 
will they react with delight to the 
number and size of the native trees, 
to the greenness hidden between two 
dry mesas, but many will be surprised 
to learn that these natural treasures 
belong to them as citizens of San 
Diego. Each one of us owns an un- 
divided and indivisible interest in this 
400-acre, ready-made park which runs 
roughly west by south between North 
Clairemont and University City. 

The very shape of the area, long 
and narrow, invites a leisurely walk to 
observe the variations in beauty — 
underfoot, at eye level, overhead — and 
to explore the scenic vistas around the 
bend, up the next finger canyon, or 
at a new angle through a favorite 
group of trees. 

On the steep south slope, huge Live 
Oaks with wide-spreading branches 
offer deep shade on hot days. In the 
streambed are Sycamores, their irreg- 
ular, light-green leaves making a dap- 
pled pattern that echoes the dappled 
grays of the bark. Around their 
gnarled roots cluster the moisture-lov- 
ing Willows, a favorite of many birds 
as a source of food and nesting ma- 
terials. 

Equally delightful are the flowers, 
which have been blooming even in 
this dry year. Most abundant are 
rounded, pink-white clusters of Wild 
Buckwheat and flat, yellow-white clus- 
ters of Elderberry. Red is provided 
by the Sticky Monkey Flower, pro- 
truding from some of the deeply 
eroded gullies that join the streambed 
from the south. Wild Mustard and 
Wild Tobacco flaunt gay yellow 



blooms; earlier in the season the red 
of Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry kept 
the bright Anna's Hummingbirds busy. 
The variety of plants is large: ferns in 
shade on the south slope, tules in the 
streambed, Prickly Pear Cactus, Cham- 
ise and Gourd in the open. 

Apparently the area has supported 
vegetation for countless years. An 
1872 land survey called it "Huerta 
de Clemente," meaning "Garden of 
Clemente." Clemente seems to have 
been the Indian in charge of vineyards 
and orchards for the big estate which 
included the canyon. How this "Cle- 
mente" came to be sainted is unknown. 

Everyone acquainted with the can- 
yon agrees that its relatively undis- 
turbed state, its unique opportunities 
for study, and the age of its native 
vegetation are all major assets. Here, 
among trees that were growing when 
Cabrillo landed, the history of our 
California landscape may be read : how 
canyons were eroded from a plain; 
how streambeds change course, and 
gullies and islands begin; how banks 
are preserved in nature (without re- 
taining walls and iceplant!). 

The excitement of teachers and sci- 
entists upon discovering the canyon 
testifies to its importance as an out- 
door laboratory. In nature, each group 
of plants and animals in a given loca- 
tion represents a balanced community. 
Why have some survived where others 
failed? Valuable conclusions may be 
drawn by comparing the plants grow- 
ing on the dry north slope with those 
along the streambed (once watered), 
and those on the shaded southern 
cliff; and by observing how the lush, 
flat meadow gradually changes to Oak- 



Chaparral vegetation, and thence to 
Streambed vegetation, as soil, sun and 
erosion make their marks. No com- 
parable area for the student remains 
in San Diego. 

ITS value in this regard has already 
been amply demonstrated. Frank 
Gander recalls taking Boy Scout groups 
there for nature study. Dr. E. Dean 
Milow, of San Diego State College, 
while working on his dissertation, 
found fossil life indicating that the 
ocean had covered the area some 50 
million years ago. Laurence Huey, of 
the San Diego Natural History Mu- 
seum, and Lewis Walker, now Direc- 
tor of the Arizona-Sonora Desert 
Museum in Tucson, for many years 
have used the canyon for scientific re- 
search and photography. Most recent- 
ly, John Hooper and Abram Edelson, 
10th graders at Clairemont High 
School, presented an exhibit at the 
1961 Science Fair entitled "Ecology 
of San Clemente Canyon." 

These factors point up the import- 
ance of developing the canyon as a 
natural park in order to preserve its 
unique characteristics and phenomena 
for posterity. In contrast to the ac- 
tivity and confusion characteristic of 
the usual recreation area, such a park 
would offer a place of quiet where one 
could observe and learn, or merely 
rest and replenish the intangibles of 
humanity. Other communities, recog- 
nizing the importance of preserving 
examples of typical landscape for fu- 
ture generations, have set aside such 
areas as sanctuaries (two in Los An- 
geles last year!), but San Clemente 
Canyon is the first effort of its kind 



AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



13 



in San Diego. Even its future is un- 
certain, because natural assets, by their 
very nature, are perishable. 

ANY visitor to the canyon will see 
that its beauty and value have been 
gradually disappearing. He'll note 
where top soil, leaf mold, sod have 
been removed, and trees cut down. 
He'll note miscellaneous litter left be- 
hind by picnickers. Above all, he'll 
note the fire hazard. Dry grass, dead 
snags, limbs and underbrush left from 
years of neglect by former owners, the 
tree trimmings discarded by firewood 
collectors — all add up to a serious 
menace. One carelessly-discarded cig- 
arette, one unsupervised child experi- 
menting with matches, and the record 
of centuries would disappear. 

Wisely, the City Council this sum- 
mer included funds in the City budget 
to allow a Park Department crew, 
under Park Superintendent Lloyd Low- 
rey, to work in the canyon on trim- 
ming dead limbs and removing brush 
to preserve the existing trees from both 
disease and fire. Such work, long over- 
due, will protect the investment of the 
citizens of San Diego, who authorized 
acquisition of this land in the I960 
election, in keeping with recommenda- 
tions by the Planning Department, the 
Planning Commission, and the City 
Council. 

Two further steps by the Council 
seem imperative at this time. The first 
is to pass an ordinance dedicating San 
Clemente Canyon in perpetuity as a 
park, so that it may not be diverted to 
any other use. City land not so dedi- 
cated "may be used for any public 
purpose deemed necessary by the Coun- 
cil." (Sec. 55, Charter). The second, 
and simultaneous, step is to pass a 



resolution clearly stating the City's in- 
tent to develop the area as a natural 
park. Neither step costs money. 

The concept of a natural park recog- 
nizes natural features as primary assets, 
worthy of preservation, and uses them 
as a core around which use is planned. 
Activities carried on in such a park 
must not be harmful to its unique fea- 
tures. Hiking trails, self -guided nature 
trails, outdoor laboratories for school 
children, family picnic tables and rest- 
rooms so placed as to cause least dis- 
turbance to vegetation, access (not 
through) roads — these offer guide 
lines for development. 

Still another advantage relates to the 
best use of space. Paul Brooks, in his 
article "The Pressure of Numbers," 
Atlantic Monthly, Feb. '61, points 
out that ". . . the size of a park is di- 
rectly related to the manner in which 
you use it. If you are in a canoe 
traveling at three miles an hour, the 
lake on which you are paddling is ten 
times as long and ten times as broad 
as it is to the man in a speedboat going 
thirty ... In other words, more people 
can use the same space with the same 
results . . . every road that replaces a 
footpath . . . shrinks the area of a 
park." 

MORE San Diegans should ac- 
quaint themselves with the 
charms of San Clemente Canyon. They 
may startle a covey of California 
Quail, causing the birds to retreat 
hastily but with dignity (head plumes 
carried erect) to a favorite brushpile. 
Swarms of Swifts and Swallows will 
be seen occasionally flying in low 
circles over the meadow gathering in- 
sects. Everywhere, at the proper time 
of day, are bird songs. The volume of 



burbling House Wrens in spring 
caused one Audubon Society member 
to propose changing the place name to 
Wren Canyon. Perhaps the pic-pic of 
the Nuttall's Woodpecker will be 
heard before the bird can be spotted 
on a decaying Sycamore limb. The 
omnious rustle in the underbrush 
may be a California Ground Squirrel 
scurrying off with an acorn, a Desert 
Cottontail fleeing, or a Rufous-sided 
Towhee scratching for food in the 
dead leaves. 

Once alerted, San Diegans will want 
to support the agencies and individuals 
in City government who have been 
working toward a natural park in the 
canyon. The Park and Recreation 
Commission, at present considering a 
recommendation to the Council for an 
ordinance dedicating the area as a 
park, and a resolution of intention to 
develop it as a natural park, will wel- 
come your views (write to the Com- 
mission at Administration Building, 
Balboa Park). When the matter comes 
before the City Council, your Council- 
man needs to know that you care. 
Let him know by letter or phone call, 
and by attendance at Council meetings 
when the matter is presented. 

Perhaps the individual citizen's 
greatest service will come from his 
influence on his friends and neighbors. 
Enthusiastic, vocal support is the best 
way to insure the future of San Cle- 
mente Canyon. 

You will be amazed at this treasure 
which is now in your hands. See for 
yourself. Visit it (best access at pres- 
ent is from North Clairemont, off Re- 
gents Road), explore it, enjoy it, but 
take care of it (leave your shovel at 
home), then add your voice and your 
energy to its proper development. 



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Rare Water Plant Blooms 



THE SPIKY FOLIAGE of Wachen- 
dorfia appears at the right edge 
of the picture, in the corner of the 
pool. Bloom spike crosses diagon- 
ally to the left. This was the sec- 
ond of two blooms. The first, out 
of the picture at right, was consid- 
erably taller when the picture was 
taken in May. Garden design by 
Roland S. Hoyt. 



by Roland S. Hoyt 



AN unusual South African water 
. plant, Wachendorfia thyrsiflora, 
has bloomed in San Diego. 

The species is so obscure botanically 
that Bailey shunts aside its family, 
Hamaedoraceae, and refers the student 
to Amaryllidaceae and Liliaceae. If 
the novice follows Bailey's cross refer- 
ences, he finds nothing he can recog- 
nize. At least we have the plant, and 
that is nearly all we know about it. 

The foliage of Wachendorfia thyrsi- 
flora is distinctive, handsome and 
quite substantial. The elongated leaves 
are sword-like, plicated or pleated, and 
come to a sharp point. As a garden 
subject, the clump is quite acceptable 
planted in water, or probably in very 



damp ground, where, however, a tend- 
ency to rust spots might be accentu- 
ated. It is interesting to note that an- 
other member of the family called 
"Redroot" is native in swamps along 
the eastern seaboard, and is sometimes 
transplanted to gardens. 

The unusual, and rather stirring, 
first local blooming of Wachendorfia 
thyrsiflora took place during April- 
June in the Point Loma garden of 
Mrs. John H. Fox. The plant, after 
hanging for several years in a contain- 
er at the side of the fish pool with 
its red roots coloring the water, final- 
ly made a decision. It evidently had 
heard various conversations relative to 
a common garden term, "dumping," 



and elected to produce. 

Early in April, two tentative buds 
appeared and began elongating. Soon 
the flat, funnel-shaped, golden flowers 
began opening to a russet-tinged com- 
plex. The head, a kind of thyrse, ex- 
tended vigorously until, in May, the 
spike was six feet tall. The florets, 
three-quarters of an inch in width, 
appeared in little panicles at right 
angles to the hollow main stalk. This 
bloom spike accounts for the common 
name "Gold Wand." There is a pecul- 
iar recurrence here, in that when the 
original flowering had finished, an- 
other set of single blooms appeared, 
adding interest to the lower stalk as 
the flowering climbed. 



AUGUST-SEPTEMBER. 1951 



15 



Dainty, Intriguing, Variable 

CEROPEGIAS 




. . . odd but cherished Africans 

by Dorothy S. Behrends 



MANY of the plants that window 
gardeners in severe climates 
have to nurse along grow without fuss 
in Southern California, some in shel- 
tered patios, others in open ground. 
The whole great list of our borrow- 
ings from South Africa falls into this 
category, Saintpaulias or African Vio- 
lets being perhaps the most highly 
publicized example, and Bird-of-Para- 
dise the most popular in Southern 
California. Another interesting Afri- 
can for collectors to consider is the 
Ceropegia. 

Ceropegias, akin to Hoya carnosa 
(wax vine), belong to the milkweed 
or Asclepia family. They might be 
classed as plant chameleons, since the 
same species under different condi- 
tions often produces what appears to 
be a distinctly different type. Like a 
chameleon, they change according to 
lighting, background and plant asso- 
ciates. 

There are only a few named species 



available, but these occur with many 
variations, not only for the reason 
above, but because of changes appear- 
ing among seedlings. These seedlings 
usually are not distinctive enough to 
be given new names. There is no rec- 
ord of hybridization of ceropegias by 
man. 

The dainty species most often seen 
is Ceropegia ivoodi, called the Rosary 
Vine. Its heart-shaped leaves are mot- 
tled green, overlaid with silver. Leaf 
size will vary considerably according 
to growing conditions, reaching an 
inch across at times, but often as small 
as a dime even when healthy. This 
twining vine drapes gracefully and 
soon becomes tangled into a mat that 
will hide a container. Blooms are tub- 
ular, waxy-coated pink flowers which 
appear in pairs. 

Ceropegia woodi is easy to propa- 
gate, since small tubers or bulbs ap- 
pear in quantity along the slender 
stems. These may be potted in an all- 





Left: Ceropegia bastata 

Drawings by the author. 



purpose mix (y 2 loam, 1/4 sand, ]/ 4 
leaf mold) and started in a warm loca- 
tion. The plants will set seed more 
readily if they are grown on the dry 
side, though not so dry as cacti. 

Ceropegia barklyi is similar in 
color to C. woodi, but the green under- 
lay of its leaves turns a rosy-purple 
when exposed to strong, though not 
burning, light. Its growth habit and 
blooms are similar to C. woodi. 

C. caffrorum has a heavy, succulent 
leaf of solid green, varying in shade 
according to the amount of light. It 
is a rampant grower in the shade gar- 
den. 

C. debilis has a distinctively narrow 
leaf, long and almost thread-like. It is 
green with a silver stripe in the cen- 
ter of the depressed vein area. Typic- 
ally, the leaves cross one another along 
the slender stem, making this variety 
an airy and delightful hanging plant. 

C. stapeliaeformis is the unortho- 
dox ceropegia, since its leaves are tiny 
and drop quickly. Its jointed, succu- 
lent stems resemble an elongated 
stapelia, which accounts for its name. 
Handle it like a shade-garden succu- 
lent, but not too damp. It is procum- 
bent by nature, but also makes an ex- 
cellent climbing subject when given 
support, as against a grape-stake fence. 
This ceropegia does not produce 
tubers, but must be propagated by 
seeds or stem cuttings. 

C. sandersoni is another non-tub- 
erous type. Its stems, and rounded, 
heart-shaped leaves are heavier and 
more succulent than the other varieties 





C. ivoodi 



C. barklyi 



C. caffrorum 



C. debilis 



16 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 





C. stapeliaeformis 

mentioned (with the exception of 
stapeliaeformis). Its leaves are few 
and scattered, leaving a great deal of 
stem showing, but it is a worthwhile 
addition to a collection because of its 
fascinating flowers. This variety pro- 
duces the largest flowers of the group, 
usually two inches long and one and 
a half inches wide. One can easily 
imagine each waxy flower as a para- 
chute descending to earth with a 



C. sunder soni 

chutist dangling from the ropes. 

In spite of the inconspicuous flowers 
of some of these varieties, most of 
them will set seed when grown in 
protected locations. The seed pods, 
which require at least six months to 
mature, are shown in the drawing of 
C. barklyi. When ripe, they burst 
open to reveal the seeds (]/g n long) 
attached to floss wings, to attract the 
wind as with their milkweed cousins. 




C. afra 

The C. afra drawing shows both sides 
of the brown seeds, one rounded, the 
other depressed in the center. 

Dainty, intriguing, variable, these 
words describe ceropegias. Try them 
as cover in the succulent garden, or 
trailing near a waterfall; hang one in 
the patio or use them as house plants. 
You may find that one leads to an- 
other, until you, too, are a collector 
of these odd but cherished Africans. 



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AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



17 



The Living Lath House 



. . sharing the good things in life with your plants 



WHILE other San Diegans head 
for the beaches to escape the 
heat of August and September, Mr. 
and Mrs. Ernest O. Adams step down 
into a split-level, living lath house in 
their own back yard. Open to the 
breeze but closed to the wind, with 
greenery on all sides and a solid roof 
to cut the heat of the sun, their lath 
house becomes their summer living 
room. And dining room. And kitchen. 

Mrs. Adams' fascination with flow- 
ers dates back to the days when, as a 
young girl, she tried to transplant the 
yellow violets she found growing wild 
on the southern edge of Balboa Park 
to the family front yard on Cedar 
Street. That youthful interest turned, 
in time, toward shade plants, with an 
emphasis on fuchsias, begonias, philo- 
dendrons and ferns. In the Adams' 
lath house, these plants are integrated 
through the use of natural materials 
into a setting designed for human 
comfort. 

Hanging baskets made from gnarled 
oak burls, and raised planters faced 
with cedar bark, lend the lath house 
a pleasantly natural air. In effect, the 
containers fade into an over-all color 
scheme of muted browns and grays 
that shows off the rich green of ferns 



and the bright blooms of fuchsias and 
begonias to stunning purpose. There 
are no harsh angles or jarring, man- 
made colors to interfere with the 
simple enjoyment of plants. 

Mr. Adams, thrice-retired but still 
working, is a descendant of the U.S. 
Presidents of the same name. He 
built the lath house over a period of 
four years, with much of that time 
spent scouring the back country for 
rocks, burls, logs and bark. 

BECAUSE of the slope of the lot, 
the outdoor rooms are a full 
story below house level. Next to the 
house, and accessible to a work shop 
and storage area in the basement, is a 
fully-equipped kitchen furnished with 
antiques. A modern sink and electric 
hot plate make it a practical, working 
kitchen. Plants are here too — in the 
raised, used brick planter dividing 
kitchen from living room. 

Step down one step into a room 
surrounded by greenery. Here you 
find easy chairs, dining table and 
benches, a small naturalistic waterfall 
and pool, even television, if you care. 
This, the living room, is roofed with 
corrugated aluminum so that it re- 
mains dark and cool on even the hot- 





!N SUMMER, the cook deserves to get out of the house and into the garden. 



IN THE Adams lath house: hanging bas- 
kets, raised beds of natural materials. 



test days. Shade plants, in containers 
and raised beds that have the look of 
the forest about them, thrive in this 
atmosphere that humans find so com- 
fortable. 

Another step downward takes you 
under a ceiling of fluorescent tubing 
into a brighter and even more garden- 
like room. Fuchsias bloom here first, 
and the bright colors of coleus decor- 
ate a plant stand against the sheltering 
garage wall. Almost a conservatory in 
the old-fashioned sense, this room pro- 
vides the added spaciousness that has 
enabled the Adamses to entertain the 
entire San Diego Fuchsia Society, of 
which Mrs. Adams is President, in 
their living lath house. 

The plants in these garden rooms 
are standard varieties. Mrs. Adams 
leaves the rarer and more difficult 
specimens to others, since for her a 
lath house is for relaxation. Once 
established, she claims, it is almost 
worry-free, given regular, but not 
continuous, care. As an example, she 
notes that it takes only one hour to 
water-feed-water their entire collection 
of plants, a duty which falls due every 
two weeks during the growing season. 

To grow shade plants in San Diego, 
you have to create a climate that suits 
them. While you're at it, you might 
as well add facilities for humans. If 
the idea intrigues you, Mr. and Mrs. 
Adams invite you to drop by 4180 
Hamilton Street in North Park to see 
how a living lath house has worked 
for them. 



18 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



BOOK TOURS 

Conducted by Alice W. Heyneman 



Garden Shrubs and Trees. By S. G. 

Harrison. The Kew Series. St. Mar- 
tin's Press, New York, I960. 318 
pages. $4.95. 

This is a fine, decorative reference 
book, fun to leaf through for the 
pleasure of the plates alone. But 
there is much more to it than the 
plates: family by family the whole 
field of cultivated ornamentals is gath- 
ered here for the interested reader, and 
presented according to the latest and 
best systems of classification. 

The Introduction, mainly a discus- 
sion of botanic structure, also includes 
a short rundown of origins, and a brief 
explanation of names. Following is a 
detailed Key to the Genera — a marvel 
of scientific organization, even if a bit 
over some of our heads. 

The main part of the book can be 
followed happily by any interested be- 
ginner. The subjects include a great 
majority of familiar garden friends: 
magnolias and ceanothus, cistus and 
cytisus, heathers and viburnums and 
philadelphus and scores more, not to 
mention trees and small ornamentals 
like peonies and roses. But the book, 
after all, was written and first pub- 
lished in England, for the English 
gardening public, so it is natural that 
if one looks for a heavy showing of 
camellias, say, or fuchsias, the fact 
that they are given shorter shrift than 
the oak and ash and thorn of England 
is hardly surprising. Camellias and 
fuchsias are there, however, even if 
our own familiar subtropicals are not. 
The book is a fine reference work in 
which to run down, among other 
things, varieties of maples or pines, 
of flowering cherries and crabs, hol- 
lies or honeysuckle. In all there are 
67 families, 'all properly divided into 
their subspecies, with concise descrip- 
tions easily usable by a beginner, 
especially the ambitious one who has 
mastered the Key at the beginning 
and the Glossary at the end. For pleas- 
ure, though, and simple identification, 
this last really isn't necessary. Both 
scientific and popular names are given, 
and though culture is omitted, there 
are interesting items about distribution, 
origin, and habitat. A most compre- 
hensive index, 15 pages of it, is a tool 
of the greatest possible value to stu- 
dent or amateur. 

Garden Shrubs and Trees is the 
fourth volume of the Kew Series, all 



planned and written by members of 
the botanical staff of the renowned 
Kew Gardens near London. Their 
books are all intended to be, essen- 
tially, practical guides to the various 
fields of botany they plan to 
cover. There will be more in the fu- 
ture. (A. W. H.) 

Succulents in Cultivation (Cacti in- 
cluded). By Vera Higgins. Bland- 
ford Press Ltd., London. 168 pages. 

$4.95. 

Vera Higgins writes on succulents 
with authority. She has been growing 
them for thirty years, has one of the 
most representative private collections 
in England, is a Fellow of the Linnean 
Society of London, President of the 
National Cactus Society, and past edi- 
tor of the Journal of the Cactus and 
Succulent Society of Great Britain. Her 
book should appeal to a wide public, 
for there is evident at present an in- 
crease in the popularity of succulents, 
not only in scientific and horticultural 
circles, but for use as decoration in the 
home and garden. 

The author gives a general idea of 
the conditions under which succulents 
normally grow, indicates treatment re- 
quired when they are grown under 
conditions other than normal, and de- 
scribes a wide range of plants avail- 
able in cultivation. Included is a wel- 
come index to plant names and illus- 
trations 

The treatment and the vocabulary 
are keyed to the interests and knowl- 
edge of both amateurs and profession- 
als. Horticultural advice is well 
adapted to Southern California condi- 
tions. Numerous illustrations — 72 
photographs, many line drawings, 
eight color plates from paintings by 
the author of specimens in her own 
collection — add to the attractiveness 
of this practical and thorough book. 
Reviewed by Alice M. Greer 

California Spring Wildfloivers. By 

Philip A. Munz. University of Cali- 
fornia Press, Berkeley & Los An- 
geles, 1961. 122 pages. $2.95, 
paper bound. 

California Spring Wildfloivers is a 
handy little book with many pictures 
in black and white and nearly a hun- 
dred small color plates. Primarily it 
is a brisk and brief rundown of means 
of identifying common wildflower spe- 



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4-61 




cies. It is divided into chapters by 
colors, just as was the old wildflower 
Bible of my youth, the Parsons Wild 
Flowers of California. Unlike the 
Parsons book, it is limited in scope: 
it omits mountain flora, and contains 
spring bloomers only. (Here there is 
a close distinction; spring on the lower 
mountain slopes and spring on the 
coast may and do occur in quite dif- 
ferent months — but doubtless this was 
taken into account.) 

For all its wealth of illustrations, I 
found the book somewhat frustrating 
and difficult to find my way around in. 
One obvious reason is that it is a lay- 
man's condensation of a much larger 
and more comprehensive work, A Cali- 
fornia Flora, by the same author. In 
the cutting, proportions — of import- 
ance, distribution, habitat, and so on 
— may have been lost sight of, to the 
possible confusion of a new reader. 
For instance, there are five very brief 
mentions of Lupine varieties — which, 
after all, is all that Mrs. Parsons al- 
lowed; but at least she mentions the 
endless fields "taking on a delicate 
amethystine tinge." This is something 
many of us have seen in memorable 
brilliance in many places, whereas 
nothing in Mr. Munz's book would 
indicate that lupines are of any more 
scenic importance than Shepherd's 
Purse or members of the Mint family. 

Thus, the book does seem a bit over- 
simplified. The thesis, stated in the In- 
troduction, that there are, for instance, 
so many gilias, penstemons, or paint- 
brushes "so much alike only the more 
observant and perhaps technically in- 
terested" are going to want to differ- 
entiate them, is perhaps open to dis- 
cussion: if you are going to do wild- 
flower field work at all, it would be 
nice to have, if not hundreds of related 
varieties, at least a dozen. 

Despite such minor carping, this is 
a worthwhile book for the wildflower 
enthusiast. I don't find it as practical 
either in shape or in content for pack- 
ing into the country as the fat little 
Western Wild Flowers of Margaret 
Armstrong, which, despite its publica- 
tion date of 1915, still seems to me 
tops as a simple, non-technical field 
book. Doubtless the large volume 
from which California Spring Wild- 
flowers evolved is really the last word : 
it has 1681 pages and describes 6000 
plants ! 

There is a good index, which in- 
cludes in a separate section the plants 
shown in the color plates. Since the 
latter are discussed with little special 
relation to the same species in the 
non-color part of the book, the double 
index is a real necessity. (A.W.H.) 



20 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



Drawings by Robert Lowell 




DRY BLOCKS + WOOD 



A Useful Garden Table 



by Alice M. Clark 



IF you tire of putting away the cook- 
out utensils after an outdoor meal, 
the table illustrated here will enable 
you to keep them where they are used 
without upsetting the garden pattern. 
Because it is contrived of wood and 
concrete blocks, without mortar, this 
set-up is easily removed when no 
longer needed. 

To the casual observer the table is 
just a handy place to display plants or 
serve refreshments, but it is also sturdy 
enough for youngsters to climb on, or 
jump from, in safety. As used in my 
patio, the low blocks at each end en- 
close and hide pint and half-gallon 
cans in which fluffy plants of Begonia 
richmondensis are more or less ever- 
blooming in both sun and shade. 

The top of the table can be made of 
3 /4-inch plywood or odd lumber. In 




Foundation Plan 



the latter case, a tarpaper lining will 
keep out moisture. The table top is 72 
inches long. It overlaps the block base 
at one end but not at the other, be- 
cause, in my case, the far space is oc- 
cupied by a tree in a large container. 
Not shown in the sketch are the four 
4x4" posts, the same height as the 
table, which are dropped into the con- 
crete blocks that form the corners of 
the table base. A panel of %-inch ply- 
wood slides into the grooved blocks in 
the front of the table to hold them 
steady. When the table top is nailed 
into the four vertical 4x4s, the struc- 
ture is really secure. 

There is ample storage beneath the 
table for two hibachis, charcoal, bel- 
lows, and cooking tools, on a floor 
raised l 1 /? inches above the paving. A 
slip-out door, lined with a thin sheet 
of aluminum, fits the opening in the 
back of the table. The door is rein- 
forced with two cleats that extend 
down enough to allow for the raised 
floor. 

When the cook is ready for action, 
the door is lifted to the top of the 
table, metal side uppermost, to provide 
a fire-safe base for the broiler. It is 
also an easy surface from which to re- 
move spattered grease. The cleats raise 
the work-top to a comfortable height. 

The principle of using wood, instead 
of mortar, to hold concrete blocks in 
place, works equally well for benches, 
window boxes or planters. There is 
really no limit to the useful combina- 
tions that may be worked out. 



Now ... a scientific 
man-made soil that 
grows everything better! 

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21 



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subscription to CALIFORNIA GAR- 
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JOSHUA TREES, barrel cactus, weathered wood and rocks form 
a de:ert scene in front of a Hillcrest apartment. (Ocotillo not shown.) 



DESERT DWELLERS 

. . . moved to San Diego 



by Chauncy I. Jerabek, the San Diego Tree Man 



PLUMBING & HEATING inc. 
3065 REYNARD WAY 

CY 7-3911 



EVEN though you may be unable to 
visit the real desert, you needn't 
deprive yourself of the sight of some 
real desert plants. A portion of the 
Lucerne Valley of San Bernardino 
County has been transplanted to San 
Diego for the landscaping of a new 
apartment building at 4166 Fourth 
Avenue in Hillcrest. Three notable 
species, Joshua Trees, ocotillo, and 
barrel cactus, are included in the 
plantings. 

The tree-like, grotesque Joshua 
Tree (Yucca brevi folia) is represented 
by fifty or more specimens. Believe 
it or not, this plant belongs to the Lily 
family. In its native habitat it reaches 
30 feet or more in height. Many have 
only a single trunk (young trees re- 
main unbranched until they have pro- 
duced flowers), while others may have 
an odd limb or two shooting off at a 
peculiar angle. The largest specimens 
have numerous contorted arm-like 
branches which generally form open 
crowns. 



Trunks of the older trees are some- 
times two feet or more in diameter, 
with a thick, rough covering of bark. 
The inner bark is made up of a thin, 
gauzy network of tough filaments. 

Crowded at the ends of the angu- 
lar, grotesque branches are 6-10" dag- 
ger-like, olive -green leaves with finely 
saw-toothed edges. Each season's leaves 
remain green for several years, at first 
standing stiffly, but gradually folding 
back against the limbs and trunk. 
These reflexed leaves form a dried 
thatch that acts as a protecting shield 
against the elements. 

Great terminal panicles, a foot or 
more long, covered with nodding, 
greenish-white, lily-like flowers, ap- 
pear at the extreme ends of the 
branches. The pod-like fruit which 
follows is the size of a large walnut. 
Although the flowers are beautiful, it 
is the scraggly, grotesque shape of the 
plants that attracts the eye. 

It is sometimes interesting to note 
how plants receive their common 



22 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



names. This yucca was christened "Jos- 
hua Tree" by the Mormon emigrants 
arriving in the valley of the Great 
Salt Lake some 114 years ago. Those 
settlers saw a suggestion of Joshua 
of the Bible in the yucca's outstretched 
arms, seemingly guardians of the 
desert. 

The ocotillo (Fouquieria splendeus) 
belongs to the Candlewood family 
and is closely related to the tamarisks. 
It is a woody plant which branches 
freely at the base and sends up many 
ashen-gray, stout stems to 6-15 feet. 
These whip-like stems are uniformly 
covered with short, stout spines, and 
for a short period, with small leaves. 
The tubular, fiery flowers, appearing 
at the tips of the stems, make this a 
spectacular shrub when in full bloom. 

THE third plant, which with natural 
rock, sand and dried wood, com- 
poses this desert scene, is barrel cactus 
(Echinocactus acanthoses, also E. cy- 
lindraceus and Verocactus acauthodes) . 
As a young plant, it is globose, simple 
or branching at the base. As it matures, 
it becomes cylindrical and reaches six 
feet or more in height. Its numerous 
ribs are covered with hooked spines 
which vary in color from red to nearly 
white. The flowers, greenish-yellow 
in a circle at the crown of the plant, 
are not particularly showy. 

I am no authority on soil culture of 
cacti and succulents, but I do know 
that they demand better soil than many 
people think. Although in their na- 
tive state they appear to be growing 
in pure sand or in rocky places, upon 
examining them closely you will find 
the soil very rich. The barrel cactus is 
usually found growing out of crevices 
in rocks, but between the stones is a 
rich humus, formed over a period of 
years as dried leaves and other vegeta- 
tion filtered in to create a coarse, por- 
ous soil. 

In the case of the yucca, its own 
leaves fall and are mixed with other 
vegetation, driven by the wind, which 
clings to its spines. Along with waste 
material of desert animals, this vege- 
tation decomposes and works itself 
into the soil around the roots, adding 
humus as well as fertilizer. The oco- 
tillo is enriched in approximately the 
same way. 



® Wrinkles Old and New 



A Reader Reports . . . 

For a valuable addition to dried ar- 
rangements, let stems and blooms of 
agapanthus (Lily-of-the-Nile) dry on 
the plant before cutting. 



Don't worry about leaving your 
garden to go on vacation. The work 
will still be there when you return. 



tor's chair with name stenciled across 
the back. 



Let the presence of weeds be a com- 
fort. If they won't grow nothing else 
will. 



The bonus value of gardening lies 
in the fact that you can't do a good 
job of it while thinking about yourself. 



Gift tip for boss gardeners: Direc- 



When wilder names are thought of. 
they'll be given to plants. 



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AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



23 



GARDEN CHORES 



Editor's Note: San Diego gardeners — 
newcomers especially — have been asking 
for this column ever since Ada Perry 
moved on to greener pastures as garden 
columnist for the Sunday Union. Pleased 
with her success there, and happy to have 
her column every week, some readers 
nevertheless have dropped the word that 
the artist who "cartoons" her might well 
be sued for libel. 



A Calendar 



IN cold climates, blissful winter eve- 
nings are reserved for thumbing 
seed catalogs for spring planting. There 
are no such restful periods here. Now, 
in our warmest weather, is the time to 
plant seeds for winter (which is really 
our spring), if we want newer or spe- 
cial varieties. If time is no problem, 
there is economy as well in "growing 
your own." You can sow calendula in 
the open ground. Try the soft pastel 
shades or the lemon-yellows and 
oranges, so gay on a dull day. Use 
poppies, alyssums, larkspurs and corn- 
flowers in the same way for a spurt of 
color. Scatter wildflower seeds in va- 
cant lots — if you can find them — in 
September. 

Time for sweet peas, too. Buy Win- 
ter Spencers; winter and spring are the 
sweet pea seasons here. To get sun on 
both sides, plant away from house or 
wall, in a row that runs north and 
south. Dig the trench 16" deep, with 
six inches of steer and some bone meal 
in the bottom. Cover with six inches 
of soil. Put the trellis in place and 
have chicken wire handy to protect 
young seedlings from birds. Soak thor- 
oughly the day before planting. Sow 
seeds about an inch apart, cover with 
two inches of soil, and shade with a 
cloth. Do not water again until plants 
appear, and then by irrigation beyond 
the trench. As seedlings grow, thin to 
six inches, and push the dirt in to fill 
the trench. 

As a general rule, it is better to sow 
seeds in flats. Cover the bottom half- 
inch with wood shavings to promote 
drainage, then fill to the top with UC 
soil mix, especially compounded to off- 
set our alkaline water. It's also sterile 
and lighter weight. Level the soil and 
soak the flat in water until moist on 
top, which will lower the soil level. 

Sow the seeds as directed on the 
package. Scatter them thinly: fewer 
seedlings have more room to develop 
before transplanting. Mix very fine 
seeds with fine sand, and plant spar- 
ingly in a shallow earthen seed pan. 
The tiny seedlings must be pricked out 
into flats as they come along. 



Since UC soil mix dries out faster 
than most, keep it moist with a line 
spray. Better still, remove the bottom 
from a second flat and replace it with 
fine hardware cloth (rat wire). Re- 
verse it over the seeded flat and cover 
the whole with any handy plastic. This 
will serve as a hothouse, but must be 
kept out of the sun. When seeds 
sprout, give dilute feedings at short in- 
tervals until seedlings are large enough 
to transplant into another flat with 
richer soil. 

For color next year, take advantage 
of warm growing weather now to sow 
cinerarias, primulas, violas, giant candy- 
tuft, and Alyssum saxatile, a yellow- 
flowering rock plant, difficult to find in 
nurseries. There is no thrill equal to 
that of raising some glorious spikes of 
hybrid delphinium from the seed per- 
fected by a famous California hybrid- 
ist; it should be planted fresh in Sep- 
tember. Unbelievable colors, rich as a 
stained glass window, can be had from 
a packet of polyantha primrose seed 
from the same firm. 

Ready-grown seedlings at nurseries 
are as handy as prepared cake mixes. 
Buy plants of Iceland poppies for 
floating color over a Jong period. Coral 
bells, perennials with handsome low 
tufts of leaves, have the same charm in 
another color. Scarlet salvia, beloved 
of hummingbirds, and Salvia azurea, 
with tall blue wands, are dependable. 
Keep them pinched. The blue felicia 
daisy, Santa Anita, and Aster frikarti, 
are both spreading perennials that give 
cut-and-come-again color. White and 
yellow marguerites do the same. 

Callas, spider lilies, freesias, amaryl- 
lis and Dutch iris are arriving. Get 
Watsonias and spuria iris for cutting. 
Snowflakes {Leuco'jum vernum) per- 
form better here than snowdrops. 

A New York woman came from her 
city apartment to a new home with 
a large lot in Clairemont. It was spring, 
and she went on a seed-buying binge, 
bringing home everything from C (car- 



of 



Care 



nations) to Z (zinnias). She harvested 
a riot of color, all right, but she prob- 
ably understands by now why seasoned 
Californians look to flowering trees, 
shrubs and perennials to carry the gar- 
den color — leaves them a little time for 
a dip in the ocean. 

Crepe myrtles provide a fountain of 
color in warm areas. Select them in 
bloom; both they and the red-flowering 
eucalyptus vary in color. The latter, 
being tender, does better on the coast. 
For something different, invest in a 
parkinsonia tree. The strange green of 
limbs and stems is attractive in cold 
weather, and right now its lacy leaves 
and racemes of starry yellow flowers are 
ample compensation for its thorny na- 
ture. Don't overlook a tree-like shrub, 
Vitex agnuscastus, with spikes of blue 
bloom and fine-cut leaves. This Blue 
Chaste Tree is hard to find, possibly 
because its cold-weather stage is 
homely, but the flowering season is 
wonderful. 

Have a field-day selecting your fa- 
vorite colors in bougainvillea vines, ole- 
anders and hibiscus. The latter wants 
the warmest spot in the garden, even 
against a white wall, but no wet feet, 
or frost in winter. 

In a shady corner, ferns convey a 



24 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



wonderful sense of coolness these warm 
days. 

Crassula falcata, with blade-like fo- 
liage and flaming blooms, is a conver- 
sation piece wherever it grows, espe- 
cially in containers. 

Water, deep and long, especially for 
plants that will be deciduous, is the 
seasonal watchword. A mist spray will 
offset strong winds. Prune and fer- 
tilize lightly, except for tender trop- 
icals. Dust and stake chrysanthemums; 
stop pinching them, but fertilize until 
the buds show color. Make cuttings 
of geraniums, pelargoniums and epi- 
phyllums. Martha Washingtons root 
easily if sturdy, six-inch lengths are 
pushed into the ground, or even into 
pots, without removing any but the 
lowest leaves. Take up glads, dry in 
the shade, store in bags for two weeks, 
then put away in peat moss until 
needed. Transplant belladonna lilies 
after blooming. Divide bearded iris, 
shasta daisies and coral bells. 

If you do not have a professional 
spray man (how they do pay off), con- 
sult your nursery for sprays for red 
spider, mites, mealy-bug and aphis, the 
Season's Special right now. Also ask 
for the material that kills crab grass 
seed before it ripens. Chlordane con- 
trols the lawn moth larvae. 

Needless to say, Californians are 
chore-bound! Anyone for moving? 



• ORCHIDS 

LATE summer care of orchids boils 
J down to a few simple rules: 

1. June through October, feed with 
a balanced fertilizer twice a month. 

2. Keep plants moist; drying out 
at this time will retard growth. 

3. Watch out for hot, dry days; mist 
spray every hour or two to keep 
humidity up. 

4. Be sure to leach out soil at every 
other watering to avoid build-up of 
salts. 

Take a careful look at the outside 
of your orchid pots. If the pots have 
green moss or algae growing on them, 
it is a good indication that the plants 
are getting enough water and leaching. 
If the pot is clean, without much 
green, boost up the watering. If the 
pot is crusted with a whitish deposit, 
the soil is not being leached out suf- 
ficiently; repot into a clean pot, or scrub 
off the deposit; now set up a new 
watering program — water more often 
and use more water. 

Betty Newkirk 

SD Orchid Society 




IT- -^*- n 




Y\ 



.XLJ 




Tbevetia thevetioides 



ROLAND HOYT* 
RECOMMENDS 

OF the two plants known as "Yel- 
low Oleander," Thevetia theveti- 
oides is slightly more at home in the 
coastal climate of Southern California 
than T. nereifolia, though it flowers 
earlier and more freely in the warmer, 
inland sections of the coastal belt. Both 
demand heat. 

These South American natives get 
their common name from their simi- 
larity in general appearance to oleander. 
They are evergreen shrubs or small 
trees that should be pruned and 
handled with a full awareness of the 
toxic quality of parts, and especially 
the milky juice. Use them as a high 
espalier, whipped up tree-like, or set 
back among other shrubbery, to make 
them unavailable to children. The 
fleshy, black, one-inch triangular pods 
are especially attractive to the curious. 

Leaves are long and narrow, of a 
very light, milky green. Those of T. 
thevetioides are markedly rolled under 
at the edge, with pronounced side veins 
to a mammoth nerve completely con- 
cealed beneath. They are downy on 
the underside. Foliage is relatively 
sparse, giving the tree or shrub an open 
character with little pruning or thin- 
ning. 

The funnel-shaped flowers, of a rich, 
clear yellow, are about three inches 
long and up to four inches across, with 
the broad lobes twisted. In the tropics, 
blooms appear throughout the year. In 
our subtropical climate, the showy, full 
heads of bloom depend on warmer 
weather. In the Mission Hills section 
of San Diego, a specimen which flow- 
ered in June of I960 was only begin- 
ning to show color in July this year. 

*Member alsa, author of Ornamental 
Plants for Subtropical Regions. 



Thevetia 



As long as warmth is assured, the- 
vetia is not particularly choosy about 
growing conditions. Plant it in full 
sun in well-drained, sandy soil, and 
water generously. T. peruviana is 
slightly more frost-tolerant than T. 
thevetioides, though neither is recom- 
mended where frost is a problem. 

The subject of frost might well be 
reviewed wherever tropicals are grown 
out of doors. See to air drainage: this 
means high ground, or a place with 
sharply declining swales or a land run- 
nel to carry away cold air, which is 
heavier and seeks lower levels. These 
plants will show no inclination to be- 
come dormant, with the ensuing hard- 
ening process that helps withstand 
chill. The gardener can promote dor- 
mancy by withholding water and fer- 
tilizer sometime during late summer so 
that growth may be checked. The 
ground should be moist, however, as 
fall enters into winter, either from 
early rains or applied irrigation. This 
places plant cells in good fettle to give 
up moisture to frost and survive the 
period with minimum damage. A fine 
spray of water over a treasured plant in 
the early morning after frost may save 
it. Or if the plant has been set up 
against a warm wall, the stored heat 
given off through the night will help 
neutralize the cold. 

It is my impression that T. theve- 
tioides was introduced to Southern 
California sometime in the thirties by 
the late Hugh Evans. At least he had 
the first block of nursery stock of any 
size, and his generous dissemination, 
whether for money or for love, was the 
source of the plants that are now com- 
ing into flower and attracting so much 
attention. 



AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



25 



RAINFORD 




qsgp- 



Flowers for all Occasions 
2140 Fourth Ave. "BE 3-7101 



ROBERT H. CALVIN 

Exterior Decorator 

Planting Design— Rockscaping 

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Patios— Lath Houses— Walls— Fences 

Daytime: GL 4-1704 • Evening: SK 5-1430 



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After reading your Calendar of 
Care, I managed to revive a camellia 
I thought was lost." It pays to fol- 
low CALIFORNIA GARDEN. 



Yerdine L Stotts 

Custom Spraying 

Residential • Commercial • Agricultural 

Specializing in Plant 
Diseases and Insects 

PROGRAMMED SERVICE FOR 
YEAR-AROUND CONTROL 

HI 2-8122 or CY 6-1925 

(If a toll call, please reverse the charges) 



• DAHLIAS 

WHETHER the gardener grows 
dahlias just for the flowers, or 
for exhibition, these are the months 
of colorful harvest. 

More flower lovers would grow 
them and enjoy them, if they would 
pay less heed to the tales of "hard to 
grow" and "difficult to keep." None 
of the stories is true if the gardener 
gives average care — the same kind of 
attention needed for any cut flowers. 
Of course they have to be fed and 
watered and kept free of insects; but 
what plant doesn't ? 

As for keeping dahlias after they 
are cut, observation of one or two 
simple pointers will keep even the 
larger dahlias fresh for three or four 
days. Match that up with almost any 
other cut flower and it is obvious that 
dahlias are desirable, and not difficult. 

The best time to cut them is late 
afternoon, the closer to dusk the bet- 
ter. If that is inconvenient, try early 
morning before the sun warms up. Be 
sure the blooms to be cut are "ripe" 
and fully open; flowers cut too green 
may wilt. 

Carry a pail of air-temperature water 
right to the dahlia plant. Cut the 
stem at an angle, strip the lower 
foliage from the stem, and then put it 
in the water quickly. Foliage in the 
water will discolor and cause the water 
to sour. 

If the pail of water is forgotten or 
impractical, keep the flowers heads 
down after cutting until you can get 
them to water. The object of both 
quick immersion and flower-upside 
down is to keep the moisture inside 
the hollow stem. If the water runs 
out, air rushes in and keeps the water 
out, causing the flower to wilt. 

The water should be changed each 
day, with the dahlias held head down 
if they are kept out of water for more 
than an instant. During the changing 
process, it helps if a bit of the stem 
of each is snipped off. 

Some arrangers dip their dahlia 
canes in hot water; others burn the 
ends. But, if the quick immersion 
system is used the flowers will keep 
just as long without all the bother. 

In taking care of the growing dahlia 
plants during the summer, probably 
the most important thing is to see 
that they get plenty of water — not so 
often, but plenty of moisture at regular 
intervals. Soils differ, but a good 
gauge is to water deeply when the 
ground around the plants dries out. 



Keeping the insects away is impor- 
tant, too. Just like other plants. In 
our part of the country we have to 
keep the red spider mites from get- 
ting started, as well as the horde of 
other crawling and flying pests. Regu- 
lar spraying with malathion — once a 
week — is recommended. Using a mix- 
ture with kelthane, or any other miti- 
cide recommended by nurserymen, is 
even better. 

Monthly feeding of dahlias with 
4-10-10 or bulb food will keep them 
blooming until November. 

Many gardeners dislike to disbud or 
disbranch any kind of plant. At the 
same time they are disappointed be- 
cause their dahlias aren't as large as 
their neighbors'. The disbudding 
makes the difference. On the larger 
varieties, only the center bud should 
be allowed to develop, and the leaf 
sprouts should be removed at least 
two nodes down. For the real big ones, 
try keeping the canes down to four, 
and down to six for the mediums. 

If you just want flowers, let 'em 
go. Feed, water, and spray, and the 
dahlia plants will do the rest. 
Larry Sisk 
SD County Dahlia Society 



• BEGONIAS 

THIS time of year calls for a high 
degree of watchfulness. The wea- 
ther, very apt to be dry and hot, must 
be counteracted for begonias. 

The soil in which the plants are 
growing must be kept damp. The sur- 
rounding areas should be dampened, 
also, since evaporation will make for 
a more humid condition. If soil seems 
damp enough, but the air is dry, wet 
down the paths and beds frequently. 
In drier areas of the County this may 
be necessary several times a day. 
Sprinkling of foliage would seem the 
ideal solution to a dry condition, but 
with the high incidence of salts in 
most of our water, it is very risky, 
since tip burn will almost certainly re- 
sult. 

With damp conditions, slugs and 
snails present a problem. Several meth- 
ods are available to control them. 
There is a spray on the market that is 
quite effective; slug and snail bait may 
be used; and hand picking helps con- 
siderably. 

Do not neglect insect control. A 
good all-purpose spray containing 
malathion should be used for mealy 
bugs, aphids, and the numerous chew- 
ers; chlordane will control the ants. 

Maintain the usual feeding program, 



26 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



as a healthy growing plant is a dis- 
ease resistant plant. Re-pot as neces- 
sary. 

A bit more shade might be bene- 
ficial during this period, but avoid 
over-shading. Leaf-color is the best 
guide. 

Consistent care calls for the exercise 
of plain, old-fashioned common sense. 
The result ? Satisfaction for both plant 
and planter. 

Margaret M. Lee 



• CAMELLIAS 

ADEQUATE available moisture is 
the most critical need of camel- 
lias at this season. Buds for the winter 
crop of blooms are formed in summer. 
From the start they are highly sensi- 
tive to water stress. The plants may 
not reflect brief periods of neglect, 
but the maturing buds are easily in- 
jured. This shows up in the form of 
"bud drop" during the blooming sea- 
son. Plants shed buds for other rea- 
sons, to be sure, but the principal 
cause is a period of drying out in the 
weeks between formation of the bud 
and the time for opening of the bloom. 

Frequency of watering depends on 
the size and age of the plant, type of 
soil, mulching practices, amount of 
shade, and climatic factors. Container- 
grown plants are generally watered 
much more frequently than those field 
grown. The accepted rule is to keep 
the soil moist, but not soggy. Where 
water percolates through the soil read- 
ily, there is little likelihood of over- 
watering. Syringing the foliage off on 
a hot day adds to the humidity and is 
helpful, but it is not a substitute for 
providing adequate moisture in the 
root zone. 

Other important cultural needs of 
the season include dusting or spray- 
ing to combat insect infestation, and 
taking corrective measures for ailing 
plants. 

Aphids are usually the most serious 
pest. Points to watch are tender termi- 
nal growth and the undersides of 
leaves. Use an appropriate dust or 
spray according to label directions for 
camellias. 

Snails and slugs are responsible for 
some leaf damage. These nocturnal 
maurauders are easily controlled 
through the use of one of the snail 
baits available at all garden supply 
stores. 

Chlorotic foliage is generally due 
to lack of available iron, a condition 
that may be remedied by using chelated 
or stabilized iron. Other causes of 



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Overlooking La Jolla Shores, Hillside 
Nursery is just up the hill from Torrey 
Pines Read, or down the hill from Mt. 
Soledad. Whichever approach you take, 
you'll find a wonderland of plants — rare 
begonias, philodendrons, tropicals, fine 
house plants — a wide variety of nursery 
stock, always at a peak of perfection. 

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AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



27 



chlorosis are water-logged soil and an 
excess accumulation of soil salts. Sev- 
eral soil corrective products with a 
combination of ingredients including 
an acidifier, a soil penetrant, chelated 
iron and two other micro-nutrients are 
on the market today. Short of replant- 
ing or deep trenching to install drain 
tile and thus afford leaching of the soil 
and better aeration, use of one of these 
new products is the best way to restore 
an ailing plant to good health. 
Clive Pillsbury 
Pres., SD Camellia Society 



• ROSES 

IF you have followed a regular feed- 
ing and deep watering program 
for your roses, you have probably been 
rewarded with some healthy basal 
breaks. These are new canes from the 
bud union, with sprays of several 
flower stems at the top. It is desirable 
to let them grow as nature directs 
them. Treat them as you would a first 
year bush and merely break off spent 
blooms. In a manner of speaking, 
these new canes are "new bushes" 
which will give you your prize- win- 
ning blooms next year. For each new 
cane you will be removing one old 
cane when you prune next year. 

Watch for blind growth and re- 
move it. Blind growth is any side 
branch that stops growing (for no 
apparent reason). It will use nourish- 
ment, but won't produce flowers. Cut 
back to a lower leaf node and hope 
for better results from the next spurt 
of growth. 

If, in spite of some extra nitrogen, 
you are still plagued with chlorosis 
(yellow leaves), it is advisable to flush 
out accumulated salts. Light surface 
irrigations tend to load the top few 
inches of soil with impurities from our 
Colorado River water. LONG over- 
head irrigation will tend to dissolve 
the surface salts and flush them down 
below the root zone. For continued 
benefit repeat such irrigations every 
few weeks through the heavy watering 
season. 

Perhaps some mention should be 
made of the 1962 AARS winners. 
Some nurseries have them in cans for 
previewing. There are two hybrid 
teas, one grandiflora and one flori- 
bunda. 

A French origination, named for 
the late Prince of Fashion, Christian 
Dior, is the most romantic and excit- 
ing sounding of the four. It bears 
very double flowers of crimson red, 
overlaid with iridescent scarlet, 



which come on long stems with glossy 
foliage. "Peace" figures in its parent- 
age. Christian Dior also has won four 
European honors. Conard-Pyle will 
distribute it in the United States. 

"King's Ransom," being introduced 
by Jackson and Perkins, is a star in 
hybridizer Dennison Morey's crown. 
It is chrome yellow, very large with 
dense, dark green foliage. One of its 
parents is subject to various diseases, 
so this may be one to watch. 

"Golden Slippers" sounds quite in- 
teresting. The buds are a combination 
of red, orange and gold, the plant is 
small, compact and hardy. Peterson 
and Dering will market it. 

As a loyal Southern Californian, I 
chose to save 'John S. Armstrong" 
until last. Named for the Founder of 
Armstrong Nurseries of Ontario, it is 
another child of that grand old lady, 
"Charlotte Armstrong." Herb Swim 
adds this one to his long string of 
credits. A grandiflora with dark vel- 
vety red blooms, "John S. Armstrong" 
is said to keep exceptionally well as a 
cut flower. The plant is tall, well-pro- 
portioned and sturdy. 

Nettie B. Trott 
SD Rose Society 

• FUCHSIAS 

AFTER the driest season in 110 
years, it is a tribute to the San 
Diego climate that many flowers and 
gardens here are even finer than usual 
this year. Visitors from everywhere to 
our National Rose Convention were 
amazed at the beauty and quality of 
the roses, and could hardly believe 
we'd had less than 3^ inches of rain- 
fall, about one-tenth the national aver- 

a & e - 

Fuchsias, despite their rain-forest 

origin, are particularly fine in quality 
and profusion of bloom in San Diego 
this season. The warm, equable win- 
ter, followed by quite cool weather 
(with morning fog) into July, has 
been just what they needed. Unham- 
pered by the cold, stormy winter and 
spring that plagued much of the coun- 
try this year, fuchsias here came early 
into such bounteous and beautiful 
bloom that the displays at the Del 
Mar Exposition were about the finest 
ever shown. 

Of course, since the hottest part of 
the season is yet to come, regular and 
careful watering, fogging and feeding 
will be needed to keep plants up to par 
in such a dry year. Spraying the en- 
tire plant vigorously underneath, as 
well as above, will furnish a lot of 
protection against such pests as white 



fly (which causes leaf-curl), red spi- 
der mite (causing defoliation), thrip 
(from dry grass nearby), leaf -hoppers, 
etc. But if pests are well started, 
water alone will be of little avail 
against them, and insect sprays, as 
recommended by the nurseries, will be 
needed. The mild ones are best for 
the plant, if they are effective. Most 
strong sprays drop or stop the blooms, 
and the plant will sometimes need 
extra care while recovering. 

Most heavy-blooming plants will 
take a bit of rest between sessions of 
profuse blooming. It is not a good idea 
to feed or force them too hard, espec- 
ially in a dry year. 

We depend mostly upon a fish- 
emulsion base for feeding, three or 
four weeks apart (never closer together 
than two weeks), and perhaps one 
feeding of commercial fertilizer in the 
late summer. Force feeding, as with 
ammonium sulphate, for instance, may 
give sudden results, but usually will 
leave the plants exhausted and ugly, 
and shorten their lives too much to be 
recommended. Good fuchsia plants, 
properly cared for, have a surprisingly 
long life expectancy. 

Remember the great importance, 
especially this summer, of shade from 
the hottest sun, and sufficient and fre- 
quent moisture, in both earth and air 
around the plants. 

For those who may wonder about 
the "breath-taking beauty" we've men- 
tioned from time to time, we suggest 
that you see some of the following 
varieties in full bloom: Ina Buxton, 
Florescent, Chas. Kuhn, Brigadoon, 
Tennessee Waltz, Desert Sunset, Pink 
Galore, Capri, Snowflake, Pink Quar- 
tet, Voodoo, Flying Cloud, Enchanted, 
etc., etc. 

Morrison W. Doty 
SD Fuchsia Society 



50 YEARS AGO 

in CALIFORNIA GARDEN 

Kate O. Sessions, August, 1911. — 

If you need a few eucalyptus for your 
back yard, hillside or canyon, or even 
a few on the back of the vacant lot next 
to you, set them out now. They will 
need water of course, but it will be a 
pleasure to watch them grow; they re- 
spond so quickly to the warm weather. 
September, 1911. — A photograph 
submitted to the Garden by Miss Mar- 
garet A. Pepoon shows a rose geranium 
of the musk variety, a single plant 
about three years old, which measured 
thirty-seven and a half feet in circum- 
ference. When completely covered with 
blossoms it was a marvelous sight. 



28 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



COMPOST 

. . . the why and 
the how 

by Robert H. Calvin 

Pies.. Organic Gardening Club 



THERE are six good reasons for 
making and using compost in the 
garden. 

1. Compost improves soil structure 
by supplying the all-important humus 
so necessary for plant nutrition. 

2. Because it increases the moisture- 
holding capacity of soil, it has been 
estimated that compost will cut water 
bills in half. 

3. It prevents the leaching of solu- 
ble inorganic nitrogen because humus 
holds the nitrogen and releases it as 
the plant needs it. 

4. Compost brings the pH of the 
soil nearer to neutral (pH 7.0) at 
which point phosphorus, the one nutri- 
ent least obtainable in a soil deficient 
in humus, is more readily available to 
growing plants. 

5. Compost acts as a buffer to help 
balance the soil. 

6. It adds nutrients, especially nitro- 
gen, phosphorus and potassium, as 
well as essential trace elements. None 
of the organic substitutes now on the 
market are as effective as compost in 
the soil. 

The University of California has 
proven that it does not take a year, six 
months, or even 90 days to make com- 
post. They found that compost can 
be made in 14 days if material is 
ground, provided it is turned every 
day. My method will produce finished 
compost in six weeks without the 
labor of turning the pile. There is 
some labor involved, of course, but 
compost is worth the effort expended. 
It has been rightfully called the 
"magic key" to a beautiful garden. 

Most home owners will tell you 
they have no place in their garden to 
make compost. If that is true, it is 
time to redesign the garden and in- 
corporate a work center with at least 



one compost bin and enough room 
beside it to stockpile garden wastes. 
The labor involved can be negligible 
if you follow the simple procedure 
outlined below. 

Step 1 — Bin Construction 

This bin method makes a better 
compost and takes up much less space. 
Make four panels of fir or redwood, 
4 ft. by 4 ft., using 2x4s for the cor- 
ners so that the four panels can be 
bolted together, and 1x6s horizontally 
with ll/ 2 inch spaces between. Place 
the bin on the surface of the ground. 
When the compost is ready to use the 
bin can be unbolted and set aside until 
needed for the next batch. A shady 
spot for the bin is desirable, but not 
absolutely necessary. Bin proportions 
may also be 3'x3' by 4 ft. high. 

Step 2 — Materials 

Use weeds of all kinds, grass clip- 
pings (spread out and dried before 
using), spent annuals and perennials 
(be sure to let all green material wilt 
completely before placing in the pile), 
leaves (intersperse them throughout 
the pile), hedge clippings (no juniper 
or cypress), all garbage, other than 
bones and grease. It is usually possible 
to get spent annuals, grass clippings, 
etc., from your neighbors or from 
maintenance gardeners, who are gen- 
erally glad to give you these materials 
instead of carting them to the dump. 
The finer you can grind or chop the 
materials, and the more varied they 
are, the better the decomposition. Keep 
a sack of steer manure on hand and 

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AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



29 






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INDEX TO ADVERTISERS 

Andersen, Walter Nursery 23 

Art Enterprises by Pharis 22 

Bamboo Tree, The 23 

Broadway Florists 5 

Cafe del Rey Moro 20 

California Electric Works 2 

Calvin, Robert H 26 

Coles, John Book & Craft Shop 19 

Coleman, Curtis Co. Realtors 23 

Comstock Dahlia Gardens 27 

Culligan Soft Water 30 

DeHaan's Shoreline Nurseries 27 

Denslows 23 

Exotica Nursery 30 

Falcon Travel Service ...27 

Garnet Nursery 20 

Grand Avenue Nursery 29 

Hazard Products 32 

Hillside Nursery 27 

Home Federal Savings & Loan 31 

Klindt Plumbing & Heating 22 

Lessar Cactus Nursery .23 

Lundy & Crawford, Inc 5 

Mission Hills Nursery 23 

Organo Mix 21 

Pacific Shores Insurance 27 

Patio-Lanai Shop, The 29 

Presidio Nursery 22 

Quon Mane La Jolla 26 

Rainford Flower Shop 26 

San Diego Floral Association 5 

San Diego Gas & Electric Co 31 

Sears Roebuck & Co 17 

Southern California Mortgage &: Loan ....14 

Stotts, Verdine ....26 

Truly Nolen 20 

L T niversity Nursery 23 

Volz, Leo Pharmacy 29 

Western Lumber Co. 19 

Woo Chee Chong Co 20 



Compost. . . continued 

scatter a shovelful now and then over 
the preliminary stockpile. Water down 
occasionally. When there are two and 
one third cubic yards of material it is 
time to fill the bin. 

Step 3 — Filling the Bin 

The amount of steer manure to 
use for a batch of compost is seven 
sacks. If you used two sacks on the 
pile as it accumulated then use five 
sacks in building the pile. Use one 
shovel of steer manure to each three 
shovels of accumulated material as 
you fill the bin. When a depth of one 
foot is reached sprinkle one pound of 
cottonseed meal or granulated all- 
purpose fertilizer evenly over the layer 
and add about the same amount of 
gypsum. Water thoroughly (do not 
use a nozzle) . 

Repeat the foot-deep layers and 
water until you have completely filled 



the bin. If you have enough material, 
keep going to one foot above the top 
of the bin. After the pile starts to 
heat it will drop two to three feet, de- 
pending on the materials you have 
used. Place empty paper sacks on top 
of the pile to insure a complete break- 
down. Inspect the pile on the second 
day. If it has not started to heat it 
probably never will; it will be neces- 
sary to dismantle and reset the bin and 
refill it. It should then heat without 
fail. 

Making compost is an interesting 
and rewarding undertaking. Anyone 
with a wee bit of thrift will find real 
satisfaction in turning his garden and 
kitchen wastes into a valuable fertili- 
zer. When you see the remarkable 
change that takes place in your soil 
and the response of the plants, you 
will feel that the effort expended was 
very little indeed when measured 
against the results. 



Pot, 



f 



oum 



. . people, places, products in the news 



© Rotary Club Project 

The San Diego Rotary Club has 
selected the improvement of Alcazar 
Garden, Balboa Park, as its 50th An- 
niversary project. The garden, built 
for the 1935 Exposition as a replica 
of a garden at Alcazar Castle, Seville, 
Spain, lies south of El Prado. 

Fountains, walks, sprinkler system, 
and the summer house, all in varying 
stages of disrepair, will be renovated 
by the club in cooperation with the 
Park and Recreation Department. 
Stephen G. Fletcher is project chair- 
man. 

Rotary officials have expressed the 
hope that their action will spark plans 
for similar improvement projects 
among other San Diego clubs. 

• Blooming Balboa Park 

August 
Mall — Petunia, Ageratum 
Alcazar Garden — Petunia 
Palisades Area — Marigold, Ageratum 
El Prado — Begonia 
South of Organ — Oleander 
Botanical Bldg. — Gloxinia, Coleus, 

Begonia, Caladium 
Formal — Dahlia, Canna 

September 
Alcazar Garden — Petunia 
El Prado — Begonia 
Formal — Roses 

Botanical Bldg. — Gloxinia, Coleus, 
Begonia, Rubra Lily 



• Miss Sessions Honored 

The memory of Kate O. Sessions 
was honored at ceremonies in Pacific 
Beach on July 7. Her nursery site at 
Pico and Balboa, and the Tipuana tree 
she planted there, were declared a 
State Historical Landmark. 

The Pacific Beach Woman's Club 
sponsored the observance, at which a 
bronze plaque was dedicated. Rep. 
Bob Wilson acted as master of cere- 
monies. Dr. Ralph Roberts spoke on 
the life of Miss Sessions. 

• New Cactus Club 

Newly-organized last spring, the 
San Diego Cactus and Succulent Club 
will welcome new members and guests 
at its monthly meetings, held on the 
first Saturday at the Youth Center in 
Lemon Grove. For further informa- 
tion, contact President C. Hardin 
(HO 9-3038) or Secretary Mrs. H. B. 
Caulk (CY 5-8540). 

• SDFA Honoree 

Miss Alice Mary Greer became the 
tenth honorary life member of the 
San Diego Floral Association in cere- 
monies at the organization's annual 
meeting in June. Mrs. John G. Clark, 
similarly honored last year, made the 
presentation. 

Other living honorary members are 
Mrs. C. P. Tedford (Annie Robin- 
son), Roland S. Hoyt, Ethel Bailey 
Higgins, and Chauncy I. Jerabek. 



30 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 




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• To choose an annual flower not well adapted to a 

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• To help avoid mistakes in planting which become 

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Merely write to the . . . 

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California 



AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1961 



31 



"AND THE DESERT SHALT BLOSSOM . . ." 



SHE was beautiful, they say, very 
beautiful, and San Diego was 
drab. The hills overlooking the 
blue harbor were brown in 1883. 
She had come as a teacher, but the 
school room couldn't hold her. San 
Diego, she saw, was a garden wait- 
ing to be planted. 

The town had only one gift to 
offer — climate. Work and water 



and greenery had to be supplied. 
Gardens and parks had to be made 
by man, or more accurately, by a 
woman, for the young lady in the 
picture had more to do with their 
creation than anyone else. 

She stepped out of the class- 
room and into a life-long love affair 
with her chosen city, an affair in which she created 
living ornaments to bedeck her beloved San Diego, 
and San Diego in its turn covered her with honor. 

COON, her influence could be seen everywhere, as 
if she had cast an enchantment over sage brush 
and bid it blossom as the rose. From nurseries in 
Coronado, Balboa Park, Mission Hills and Pacific 
Beach she broadcast trees and flowers over the city 
and its surrounding settlements. She ranged from 
Bonita north to Rancho Santa Fe, from the coast to 
Lemon Grove and Helix, offering plants and guid- 
ance, and a gospel of beauty to transform the scat- 
tered pieces into one glorious landscape. Scarcely 
a garden lacked her touch, then or now. 




Can you imagine San Diego 
without its twisted junipers? She 
was the first to recognize their 
windswept charm and to use them 
as ornaments in the dooryards of 
the city's habitations. The common 
ice plants became her magic car- 
pets. Hillsides glowing with their 
brilliant colors seem as much at 
home in San Diego today as a Bok- 
hara in a drawing room, but they 
were rare and precious treasures 
when she began importing them 
from Africa, a rainbow she col- 
lected to embellish her barren town. 

D EOPLE talk about her as if she 
were still alive: she was tough, 

they say, argumentative, impatient; 

but also gentle, affectionate, dedi- 
cated. She occupied a special chair at Floral Asso- 
ciation meetings, and no one has been found to fill 
it since she left. In the picture above, she looks as 

if she might be dressed for her first ball, but San 
Diegans remember her in all-purpose suits and 
floppy hats and heavy work shoes. You can't tame a 
desert In a ball gown. 

She planted San Diego, and it blossomed abun- 
dantly. It was bare when she arrived and green when 
she departed. By then, she was the drab one, but her 
city was beautiful, very beautiful. Who was she? 
Kate Olivia Sessions, of course. 

Text by George A. La Pointe 

Editor, CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



HAZARD PRODUCTS, INC. • FRIARS RD. & CABRILLO FREEWAY 

CYpress 7-4141 



BLOC 




(From THE ESCHANTED GARDEN, program of the 1961 Charity Ball. The Ball is presented annually as a benefit for Childrens Hospital.)